Colo. Senate Debating Single-Payer Health Care Proposal

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A single-payer health care system in Colorado?

The state Senate is debating the idea Friday.

Democratic Senator Irene Aguilar, MD, proposed tossing out Medicaid and Medicare entirely and exchanging that system with a truly universal health care plan.

The proposal passed the Health and Human Services Committee last week, but isn't expected to make it past the Senate. However, if it were to pass, it would make Colorado one of the only states with a universal health care system. A 9 percent payroll tax increase would be implemented to pay for the system.

Under the bill, anyone living in Colorado for more than one year would be covered.

Supporters of the bill say it would provide Coloradans with superior coverage to what they currently have now, would help the economy by keeping premium money in-state, and would allow more of the money allocated to health care to actually go towards health care rather than administrative costs.

Opponents say a single-payer system limits access to health care and diminishes the overall quality of care.

Another measure under consideration is a Medicaid expansion to give needy adults better access to health assistance.

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