Some Grand Junction business owners oppose ColoradoCare

Published: Apr. 6, 2016 at 4:32 PM MDT
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Colorado voters will decide on Amendment 69 in November.

The amendment is also known as ColoradoCare and it would create a single-payer health care system for everyone.

Many small business leaders met in the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce to discuss the amendment Wednesday morning.

ColoradoCare would raise taxes to $25 billion in its first year to create what some call risky state-run health insurance.

Opponents said there are many unknowns including what exactly it will cover.

Under the amendment, employers would have to pay a tax of 6.6 percent of employee wages.

Employees would also have a payroll tax of about 3.3 percent.

But money would be saved at the doctor's office; with no deductibles or co-pays.

However, many small business owners said they are opposed to the health care insurance.

"We won’t be able to negotiate rates, they’ll be set for us said," Chris Thomas, the CEO of Community Hospital. "If the rates are such that I can’t afford staff or services, I’m going to have to eliminate them."

Others further argue the amendment will cause health care workers and small businesses to leave Colorado.

"There’s not a physician out there that I know that wants to work in a state or in a community that has a single payer system,” said Tony Colaizzi, a manager of a small business in Grand Junction.

If the amendment does pass in November, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce said there will have to be a waiver from the federal government to exempt people from the Affordable Care Act.

Right now, people have to have insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and while they currently can choose their health insurance, Colordans will not have that choice under ColoradoCare.