Colorado Wants A Single-Payer System

Published March 22nd, 2016 by USA Rx
Fact Checked by
Chris Riley

While the federal government may be divided on whether or not mandatory health insurance is a good idea, Colorado is attempting to move forward with a state-managed health insurance program which it expects to both cover every Colorado citizen and to cost less than health care does now. Amendment 69, which will go before the voting public in November, will become the first true universal health care system in the United States if it should happen to pass.

Colorado’s proposed health care law is what’s called a “single-payer system.” Essentially, by acting as a health care provider, Colorado will use the collective bargaining power of every citizen in its borders to force every pharmacy, clinic, and hospital to lower its prices as far as possible. Colorado state health care would have no in-network or out-of-network cost differences since every health care institution would effectively be in the state’s network.

The proposed tax to pay for this health care system is a 3.3 percent tax on individual income, a 6.67 percent tax on employers based on payroll income, and a 10 percent tax on other forms of income such as produce sales, Social Security, and capital gains. While these taxes are significant, they would primarily affect people who are able to pay higher taxes without hurting for necessities and families on the whole would pay less overall: current estimates place health care spending at between 5-7 percent of total income.

Health insurance companies are, quite naturally, against Amendment 69. Not only does a state government have a greater bargaining power than a private insurer, thus giving it the ability to dictate the lowest possible prices, the fact that Colorado’s health care comes with a mandatory income tax and zero deductibles means that citizens will probably use it as much as possible, neglecting even supplementary insurance in the process. As such, health insurance companies are doing what they can to fight the amendment, but supporters are using that fact as a rallying cry in their favor.

On the other hand, a program like the USARx pharmacy discount card may be able to survive even in a universal health care system. The state will still have to bargain with pharmaceutical companies regarding medication costs, after all, and the Colorado plan won’t be getting rid of copays altogether. As such, you may still save money thanks to USARx’s discounts on prescription drugs, discounts that sometimes go as high as 75 percent, and our card is accepted in virtually every pharmacy in the nation. Signing up is free and easy, and you can learn more if you send us an email at [email protected] or call us at 888-277-3911.

Put drug prices & coupons in your pocket!

We'll text you a link to download our free Android or iPhone app