|ColoradoCare ignites progressive-establishment warfare
DENVER—Yesterday liberal attack group ProgressNow and Democratic Denver state Rep. Crisanta Duran held a press conference in opposition to the state’s $25 billion+ single-payer ballot proposal, known as ColoradoCare or Amendment 69. The ColoradoCare campaign’s highest profile proponent, state Sen. Irene Aguilar, orchestrated a retaliatory press conference slamming her opponents. The showdown featured protestors and members of the Twitter audience claiming that ProgressNow is a Koch-backed group and corporate-backed influence peddlers advised by the Right.
Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood released the following statement:
“Advancing Colorado spearheaded the opposition to ColoradoCare, so our supporters are excited to see more people and more organizations line up to fight ColoradoCare’s deception and destruction. ColoradoCare is clearly doing everything they can to try and get their agenda through no matter what, they will say anything and do anything to pass this killer tax hike. What we are also seeing is people from every shade of the political spectrum turn red hot against government control over health care.”
Peter Marcus, with the Durango Herald, covered the explosive press conference battle:
“You think this is easy for us? This is not easy. This is tough. Doing the right thing is tough,” said Ian Silverii, executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, who previously served as chief of staff to House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst of Boulder.
His comments enraged Aguilar, who interrupted Silverii to say, “I am insulted that you implied that I’m spreading misinformation.”
One ColoradoCare supporter said of Aguilar’s news conference, “We decided to do the intro for them.” Another observer said of the battle, “Welcome to the 2016 election, also known as the apocalypse.” While others framed the debate as “civil war.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado in June said the single-payer health care system would throw abortion rights into jeopardy.
“I think everybody supports the goal of improved healthcare for all Coloradans. But because Amendment 69 can’t provide guarantees to affordable abortion access, it isn’t truly universal health care,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado’s director, Karen Middleton told the Colorado Independent earlier this summer.
NARAL, according to the Independent, says a 1984 state constitutional amendment banning state-funded abortions would classify Colorado’s single-payer health care system as a subdivision of the state and preclude access to abortions.
ColoradoCare proponents tried to push NARAL’s board to stay out of the discussion around Amendment 69. ColoradoCare leaders reportedly, again according to the Independent, “suggested a work-around whereby women could buy supplemental health care plans that would cover abortions.”
ColoradoCare, has been mired in controversy and speculation since it was approved as a 2016 ballot question. The $25 billion-a-year income tax hike would create a bureaucracy that would rank 80th on the Fortune 500 list. The new taxpayer-funded system would be exempt from the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and the board would be allowed to introduce annual tax hikes for members of ColoradoCare to vote on. Members has yet to be defined by the ColoradoCare campaign, initiative or supporters. Members could possibly include undocumented immigrants, etc.
Advancing Colorado, has received recognition in national and state media, spearheaded the opposition coalition to the measure, is the leading voice against the proposal and ran a digital ad campaign early on called, “ColoradoCare is a killer.”