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Western Slope Club 20 group denounces ColoradoCare

Plan could be ‘detrimental,’ members say

CORTEZ – Western Slope advocacy group Club 20 is “vehemently opposed” to Amendment 69, which would bring universal health care to Colorado if approved by voters in November, Club 20 Executive Director Christian Reece said Thursday.

Club 20 includes politicians, policymakers and professionals and represents 20 counties on the Western Slope. The group held summer committee meetings Thursday and Friday at Cortez City Hall. Reece questioned the ColoradoCare funding methods and the amount of oversight the program’s 21-member executive board would have.

“This could be extremely detrimental to the state,” Reece said. “This is not the solution for Colorado.”

If approved by voters, the program would be funded by a 10 percent payroll tax, including 6.67 percent for employers and 3.33 percent for employees, and there would be no deductibles or premiums, according to State Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, who proposed the program.

ColoradoCare would be open to all residents of the state and no one would be denied, said Aguilar, who visited Cortez and Durango in June to promote the program. ColoradoCare would not be part of a governmental entity, instead governed by a 21-member executive board, elected by members of the program.

But Reece said there are too few qualifications required to be eligible for the board. State Rep. J. Paul Brown, R-Ignacio, also attended the Club 20 meeting and was skeptical of the executive board component of ColoradoCare. He pointed out that the board would not be bound by the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

“The 21-member board has no oversight,” Brown said.

Colorado Hospital Association, of which Southwest Health System is a member, also is opposed to ColoradoCare, according to Southwest marketing director Haley Leonard.ww

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