The presidential election and what it could mean for the ACA isn’t the only thing that is sending shockwaves into the future of healthcare policy. On Tuesday, voters in Colorado soundly defeated Amendment 69, the ballot measure that would implement "ColoradoCare" in the state. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 1,876,618 to 478,107 (80-20%). The $25 billion program, funded through a 10% payroll tax, would have operated a single-payer cooperative, extending coverage to anybody who earns income and lives in Colorado up to age 65, replacing the existing state-based marketplace, Connect for Health. NAHU and our Colorado chapter strongly opposed the amendment and assisted the Coloradans for Coloradans campaign to defeat it.
Additionally, voters in New York State have significantly curtailed the prospects of single-payer as a result of the state’s Senate elections. In May 2015, a bill passed the Democratically-controlled House by a two-to-one margin, but has not been able to pass the Republican-led Senate. The elections will keep the Republicans in control of 32 of the 63 seats in a coalition with independents, likely blocking a bill from being passed in the next session. The current bill would effectively eliminate private market coverage in the state to allow for the public program to provide universal coverage. It would be funded through payroll assessments (80% employer-paid and 20% employee), and a progressive income tax, at 9% for incomes between $25,000 and $50,000, and increasing to 16% for incomes over $200,000.