What ABC-7’s Marshall Zelinger seemed to get wrong in his Amendment 69, ColoradoCare,”Fact Check”
DENVER—Marshall Zelinger, a reporter with ABC-7, performed a so-called “fact check” on a “NO on Amendment 69” television ad put out by Coloradans for Coloradans, a key-member of the opposition coalition. In the report Zelinger seemed to either be incorrect and/or possibly misleading. Both sides of the Amendment 69 debate have reason(s) to take a closer look at Zelinger’s “fact check.”
Advancing Colorado Chief & Spokesman Jonathan Lockwood released the following statement:
“Coloradans must fact check the fact checkers, and we absolutely and always must hold the mainstream media accountable. ABC-7’s Zelinger misses the point in his fact check and seemed to get key information incorrect that doesn’t help voters or either side of the debate.
“When we are dealing with a life or death proposal, like ColoradoCare especially, we cannot afford to have fact checkers injecting, whether deliberately or not, white noise and debris into this serious debate on such a dangerous agenda.
“Denver Democratic state Sen. Irene Aguilar should also pick a fight with Zelinger because he was wrong about the way future tax hikes under the system work. Who can necessarily blame him though, the ColoradoCare campaign doesn’t want to put out clear information about the future tax hikes we’ll see from the Matryoshka doll ‘health care’ proposal. The point is we have to get the facts out correctly so voters can make an accurate decision that’s fair and ‘fact checks’ like this are taken by some voters as extremely, extremely detrimental.”
Advancing Colorado’s “fact check” on Zelinger’s “fact check” is below:
“The Blue Book gets mailed to voters ahead of the election.”
ADVANCING COLORADO ANALYSIS: TRUE
The Blue book does get mailed to voters ahead of the election.
“The board will also have the authority to increase taxes, if the 10 percent rate is not sufficient to keep up with health care costs. Amendment 69 would make ColoradoCare exempt from having to go to the voters for a tax increase.”
ADVANCING COLORADO ANALYSIS: WRONG
Amendment 69 will allow the ColoradoCare “board” to introduce more and more tax hike proposals every year to what ColoradoCare’s backers call “members” in order to stay solvent. Remember, the word “members” has not yet been clearly defined and could include undocumented immigrants and opens the door to a multitude of questions, but should not be confused to mean voters as generally understood and accepted. We must also remember that the ColoradoCare board will be faced with either raising taxes or cutting health care benefits from children, the elderly, those in need and more.
The ColoradoCare board has no clear election guidelines regarding the expected future tax hikes, similar to the fact there are no campaign finance regulations regarding the eventually elected board. Keep in mind the initial board is appointed by the governor and the legislature that the ColoradoCare campaign has said they don’t trust. There are also no recall guidelines for citizens of Colorado to recall board members, instead they’ll just have to wait to try to elect new representation, if they survive until the next election.
“Your doctors will still be determining your medical care. ColoradoCare creates a 21-person board that will oversee the program and money. A 15-member interim board will be appointed by the legislature and Governor and will help determine how the 21 members will be elected.
The board will determine which providers will do business with ColoradoCare and how much they will be reimbursed.”
ADVANCING COLORADO ANALYSIS: MISLEADING
ColoradoCare will essentially control what health care benefits will be covered, and what benefits will be restricted, like women’s reproductive health care for example. That is one reason why ProgressNow, NARAL-Pro Choice Colorado and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains joined leading Democrats and the opposition coalition spearheaded by Advancing Colorado. ColoradoCare directs doctors and patients in a concerning way that disrupts the freedom we would like to see in a health care reform proposal. The ColoradoCare price controls, mandates and restrictions, make Zelinger’s statement that “doctors will be in charge” seem misleading.
“The $25 billion in new taxes would be nearly double the $27 billion state budget, but the new $25 billion would only be spent on health care costs and not in areas like transportation or schools.”
ADVANCING COLORADO ANALYSIS: TERRIBLY MISLEADING
ColoradoCare does in fact double the amount of taxpayer funds collected by the state to be used for government-run operations. ColoradoCare is not a co-op despite what proponents and others have deceptively claimed because it is literally impossible to opt-out of not paying taxes or opt-out of the ColoradoCare system. The only way to “opt-out” of ColoradoCare is to opt-out of living in Colorado. Back in June of last year, the ColoradoCare campaigners wrongfully told voters they could opt-out of ColoradoCare and that ColoradoCare is not a tax hike. Both of those claims are also terribly misleading.
Zelinger is also 100 percent incorrect that the $25 billion collected in taxes, not including the additional funds pumped into ColoradoCare, would “only be spent on health care costs” because ColoradoCare’s initially unelected, and future “elected,” boards will have total control over the transition period and the larger than Nike, McDonald, American Express, Twenty First Century Fox, or Sears-sized annual budget that would rank 80th on the Fortune 500. The ColoradoCare board could spend without oversight or approval from any governmental body, for example, $4 million on public relations, $5 million on IT, $9 million on staff salaries and bonuses, or $200,000 on government-health care branded sunscreen packets similar to how the Colorado Obamacare exchange did to entice enrollees etc. We don’t know how the ColoradoCare budget will actually be spent and the ColoradoCare campaign doesn’t either.
Zelinger’s fact check on the statement that it will double the state’s budget also misses the point that the claim in the ad is illustrative of just how gigantic the blank-check income tax-funded budget for ColoradoCare will be.