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Colorado's Single Payer Measure Could Be a Model for the Nation, Said Sanders


Colorado's Single Payer Measure Could Be a Model for the Nation, Said Sanders

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

"Millions of people are watching what you do," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told voters in Boulder, Colorado on Monday.

The progressive firebrand and former presidential candidate had traveled to the Rocky Mountain foothills to campaign on behalf of a state ballot measure that would establish a state-run, single-payer health care system in Colorado—one that he said could be a model for the nation.


Doubt it? Look at what has happened, how many states have passed medical and/or recreational cannabis since Colorado ended cannabis prohibition. (Amendment 64)

Since 2014 I have seen more than a few people well over the age of 55, who would walk into a Colorado dispensary, and say, "My God, I thought this day would never come during my lifetime."

Hope springs eternal.


Obamacare prohibits states from enacting their own single payer until 2018 and then only with "federal approval'. There may need to be a march on Washington DC on the scale of MLK's 1963 event to coax federal approval if Colorado passes this measure.

Although we do need a "shot that can be heard all over the country", the single payer shot is not one "that needs to be heard all over the world". The rest of the first world is already there and the shot they need to hear is actually many shots that destroy TPP, TTIP, CETA, TISA and other regulatory capture disguised as "trade deals" that will reverse health care progress other nations have made, making them prisoners of the extortion machine currently disguised as US health care.


The ads against the measure are misleading and basically lie. Large letters across the t.v. claiming it will increase your taxes by xxxxxmillions. Vote no.
I get so mad when I see these. I know many here in Denver that don't have health insurance because ACA is too expensive.
I want this to pass so badly. I pray Colorado does the right thing, like they did with marijuana legalization, pass it in a landslide.


Thanks, did not know the 2018 rule. I do remember way back in 2000, when I voted yes on Amendment #20 (medical cannabis) and it was not until 2010 that it was fully implemented. Progress takes time

Full legalization within 4 years after that--in 2010 nobody expected that whatsoever (but maybe Mason Tvert) First month in 2014 topped $14 million in sales--projections were only $40 million for the first entire year.

I was always told by my relatives back in Texas "Those Feds are gonna shut you down, just wait". Still waiting--ain't gonna happen.

In CO, we have been saying FU to the Feds for 16 years. As long as it empowers people and expands rights while simultaneously bringing in millions of tax dollars, and boosting the economy, people tend to say "yes". Funny how money speaks louder than human (inalienable) rights.

The first head of the Marijuana Enforcement Division (CO Dept. of Revenue), an ex cop who put many in jail for drugs in his previous life, said this about the ending of cannabis prohibition (nationwide):

"It is a train coming full speed down the tracks, and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it."

single payer for all is another train


Amen. Even though Romney said no to even medical cannabis, his voters in Colorado said yes to rec--really a purple state. Obama carried the state, but a higher % voted for legalization than Obama. Proves we got our priorities straight.


If Bernie is a firebrand then I'm Mother Teresa.

We've now got transcripts of Hillary's Wall Street speeches, and they are as bad as imagined. Yet he is STILL out there hustling for her!


Yeah. I do too. My health insurance co here in California claimed my surgeon didn't approve the procedure that she already performed. I guess they "lost" it. Now she's appealing it. It's very scary.

Well marijuana legalization does not cut into profits of the .01% like single-payer does. The stakes of the latter are higher for THEM!


It's more of a blue state it's just that the left doesn't vote as often, but when they do, they get the job done. Colorado went for Bernie big time too.
I hope we can pull it off.


Ironic (more like hypocritical) that Sanders is piggybacking campaigning for Clinton on top of Prop. 69 when Clinton, during the primaries, told the world that "single payer will never happen in the US".


This plan will still not address the main dysfunction that will make the Colorado idea unworkable.
The plan will have absolutely no control over the end costs.
To make it work the government must have control of the fees-- and the facilities-- like hospitals.
No payer can afford the costs of a "charge what ever you want" service.
Removing the payer (health insurance companies) from the system--is a good start--but--
You must take the "for profit" out of the costs of services in facilities like hospitals.
You must have control of the fees charged by providers for services.


You say nothing about wages.


However we frame it, we would need to maintain a separate system for the poor. It would make no sense to provide reasonably comprehensive health care, just to dump them back on the streets. Deprivation of adequate food and shelter take a very heavy toll on human health.


If the US has a left, they've been drown out by liberals and their ongoing pep rally for the middle class alone. On voting, for whom can you vote if neither of the two leading contenders represents you or your greatest priorities? Your choice then is to vote third party, or withhold your vote. Many doubt that the Ds and Rs will allow a third party to gain power.

Some 20 years ago, the Clinton wing powerfully split apart those who are to the left of center.


I'm voting for Jill Stein in hopes she will build a party to challenge the duopoly in the next election.
Sure can't vote for the two idiots.


You would sure be foolish if you vote for Trump


Doesn't it make you wish that we had more of the 10th Amendment, affirming the sovereignty of the states? States that had the gumption to obstruct their boys getting drafted to go to Vietnam, or their National Guard units getting sent to Iraq? Or implement their own single-payer?
-- As for funding, if single-payer is the great social deal that it is then money doesn't have to go to WashDC and come back in order to fund it. Socialism should be locally funded. Hillary was telling us 20+ years ago "It takes a village", not a leviathan located a thousand miles away.

I think the stronger grounds would be 'legal tender' laws, that a Federal Reserve dollar bill shall be legal tender to pay all debts. You couldn't say that a doctor must accept insurance instead of cash. Originally enacted to prevent companies from paying their workers in scrip only redeemable at the company store.


I see in the comments to this article, like so many on this topic seen on Common Dreams, a lot of single-track thinking, verging on closed-minded-ness. Single-payer?

Back in 2009 I heard NPR interview TR Reid, who had just published a book titled 'The Healing of America'. He did a world survey of health systems in the nations. Four varieties of health:
1. British system run by the government. The government runs the hospitals and the doctors are government employees.
2. Canadian system of single payer system.
3. Cont.Europe/Japan system of strict regulation/gov.organization of the insurers
and the industry.
4. Pay for it out of pocket. The way of 150 countries.
[Given the amount of Govt. involvement, How much do #1,2,3 differ?]
Reid said that America (2009) has each system.
1. Native Americans and Veterans get British healthcare. M*A*S*H is also British Healthcare.
2. The aged on Medicare get Canadian healthcare.
3. Typical employee gets #3 European care through their employer.
4. The rest pay out of pocket [except when they go to the emergency room.]
Author mentioned the most recent healthcare reforms.
A. Taiwan, having got prosperous, had a big debate and went from #4 to #3.
B. Switzerland had a problem -> uninsured population to 5%. Uproar and Switzerland
made a stronger #3, made the insurance industry non-profit.

Reid's bias was towards the Swiss "Non-profit Health." He spoke favorably of France: doctors et. al. can't make lots of money there, and accept that. [heard later: Britain has a big doctor emigration problem, with the result that resident British doctors tend to be less well trained doctors from the subcontinent.]

A lot of patients like the British-like single-provider Veterans Hospitals system. Except for the ones who get lost in the Kafka-esque queues to nowhere and never receive treatment.

Many people here speak of 'Healthcare is a right' ; a positive right.
If it is a right just as strong as a woman's right to an abortion (a negative right), or to a publicly-funded abortion that HR Clinton seeks to provide, then whatever a patient and a doctor decide is necessary for the patient's health, the bill gets presented to the Colorado State Treasurer, and the State Treasurer has to pay it.

You no doubt see the first problem with the concept. That the bills patients and doctors would submit could and would easily exceed the state's ability to pay them. That is the first thing that makes 'healthcare is a right' so hard to provide.

And people who call for 'Medicare for all' should note that they might receive 'Medicaid for all', instead.

(For those not familiar with the terms, a 'negative' right is one that the government can not deny, such as the First Amendment 'Congress shall make no laws...', etc. A 'positive' right says that government must provide someone with something. Entitlements are treated as positive rights. That tobacco farmers are entitled to a minimum price for their tobacco, etc. (Used to be true for tobacco. Still true for sugar, peanuts and many other crops.) And other entitlements, etc.)


We should just keep what we have, right? Greatest country in the world!

Sock puppets by the thousands.


What we have right now (PPACA) is pretty bad. As one of many statements of how bad, see
Why Obama Won't Listen to Reason on Obamacare - Ramesh Ponnuru, BV

What we had before PPACA was also widely criticized. There are many possible solutions, including British-style single-provider, and Canadian-style single-payer. It isn't hard to find them. Each has positives and negatives.