NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Brianne Spellane
Director of Marketing & Communications
CIAB JOINS FIGHT TO OPPOSE BALLOT INITIATIVE IN COLORADO
AMENDMENT 69 WOULD IMPLODE EMPLOYER-PROVIDED HEALTH BENEFITS, SAYS TRADE GROUP
WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 3, 2016 – The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers announced today its alignment with Coloradans for Coloradans to oppose Amendment 69 in the State of Colorado. The ballot initiative, also known as ColoradoCare, threatens to completely dissolve employer-provided health benefits in Colorado by creating a state-operated single-payer health regime. It would also erode the market for workers’ compensation policies that could unintentionally erode workplace safety policies. The amendment would be devastating to consumer choice, threatens quality of care and would cost taxpayers $25 billion.
“Every Colorado consumer receiving employer-sponsored health insurance would lose their current coverage, and the market for workers’ compensation policies that drive employment safety policies and procedures could go by the wayside, too,” said Ken A. Crerar, president/CEO of The Council. “Our decision to become involved was made clear after a unanimous vote by our Board. We’ve started a repository of information on our website for our member firms headquartered in Colorado—and those that do business in Colorado—to use to educate their employees and clients. We hope this is a start in helping to highlight the devastating impact ColoradoCare would have on the market, and we’re encouraging all of our members across the country to be informed about it. This is not just a Colorado problem,” said Crerar.
If passed, ColoardoCare would be funded by premium taxes levied on Coloradoans. That $25 billion tax increase would essentially double the size of the current state budget and give Colorado the highest state taxes in the nation. There would be a loss of health care industry jobs as providers would look elsewhere to do business, there would be a displacement of competitive private-market insurance solutions and business owners would be hit by a 10 percent in new employment taxes plus an additional 10 percent tax on all non-payroll income.
“Today, workers know what their plan covers. There are no specifics about what the ColoradoCare plan would cover, and those decisions would be left to a 21-member board specifically designed to operate outside state government,” said Crerar.
The Council’s move comes amidst a flurry of attacks on the employer-provided benefits market on a national scale. Dangerous rhetoric supporting single-regimes is scattered among presidential candidates, and the tax exclusion that drives the benefits market is under increased scrutiny by congressional leaders. The Council has long considered part of its mission to strengthen employer-provided benefits and to enhance the competitive market that gives employers the tools to attract and retain talent while using the fabric to deliver health care to more than 175 million Americans.