ColoradoCare on 2016 ballot

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. The ColoradoCare health insurance plan gathered enough signatures to have the plan on the 2016 ballot for Colorado.

The 550 volunteers gathered signatures in almost every county in order to give Coloradans the chance to vote for the plan next fall.

Volunteers for this program got 50,000 more signatures than what they needed to have this on the 2016 ballot.

The signatures were delivered to the Secretary of States office in Denver Friday morning.

ColoradoCare is a nonprofit health insurance plan.

The nonprofit said they would provide health insurance to every Coloradan up to age 65.

"They rented an ambulance, loaded them on a gurney, and all the petitions drove up in front of the building where the Secretary of States office is in Denver. Then they wheeled the gurney up to turn in the petitions," said ColoradoCare supporter Nancy Angle.

Thanks to volunteers that gathered signatures of support, the ColoradoCare plan will now be on the 2016 ballot.

"This is an historic day. In November of 2016, Coloradans will have a chance to vote and they get two choices; they can vote for ColoradoCare, covers everybody, saves billions, or you can vote for the status quote which is Obamacare," said ColoradoCare campaign leader T.R. Reid.

Organizers of the plan say it could save two million dollars a year for Mesa County on employee health care costs.

"This is a big saving. The average Colorado family is spending 6-8 percent of its income on health insurance," said Reid.

Under the ColoradoCare plan, every worker would pay a 3.3% tax of gross pay and employers would pay a tax of 6.67% of payroll guaranteeing everyone health coverage, even those who don't work.

"This is a way for Colorado to get to universal healthcare and save money. And guess what? When we do it the other states will follow and eventually every American will have access to high quality health care at reasonable cost," said Reid.

Ultimately, their goal is for ColoradoCare to replace the Affordable Care Act here in Colorado. Not everyone in Mesa County agrees that the Affordable Care Act should be replaced.

"I think Obamacare should remain as our healthcare system. I think it is providing extremely needed support for many, many Americans," said Mesa County resident Lyn Fraser.

But even with the Affordable Care Act in play, almost 400,000 people in Colorado don't have health insurance. A number ColoradoCare hopes will change come November elections.

Organizers first tried to pass this plan through the legislature. In Colorado if a plan is not passed through the legislature people can vote it into law through a ballot initiative.

The Affordable Care Act states that any state that provides health coverage better than the Affordable Care Act can get a waiver from the federal system.

ColoradoCare would qualify for this waiver of the Affordable Care Act and would essentially replace the Affordable Care Act in Colorado.

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