ColoradoCare Would Replace Obamacare With Statewide Single-Payer Plan

With Colorado’s shaky Obamacare exchange in peril, some health care advocates are calling for voters to scrap it and replace it with something far more ambitious.

Proponents of a statewide single-payer health care system have submitted 156,107 signatures, far more than the 98,492 required to qualify for the November 2016 ballot, to the Colorado secretary of state’s office for verification.

If the measure qualifies, Colorado would immediately become ground zero for a national debate on the concept of steep tax increases in return for guaranteed health care coverage for all residents, all against the backdrop of a pivotal presidential race.

The program, called ColoradoCare, comes with a steep price tag: $25 billion, which would be raised with a 10 percent payroll tax increase. At the same time, the plan would provide all residents with Medicare-style health care coverage and allow the state to dump Obamacare.

Whether Colorado voters would agree to take on that kind of tax hike is another question — two years ago, they rejected a comparatively paltry $1 billion tax increase for education — but there is no doubt that the “no-more-Obamacare” argument resonates with certain segments of the population.