- In 2016, Colorado voters will decide whether or not to pass legislation that would implement a taxpayer-funded universal healthcare program.
- If passed, the measure would opt the state out of the ACA, making Colorado the first state to opt out of the program, reported American Health Line.
- Vermont lawmakers passed a similar measure for universal healthcare in 2011 but ultimately abandoned the plan in 2014 because it was too expensive, reported The Sacramento Bee.
Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act allows states to apply for a waiver from many of the law's requirements to pursue innovative strategies for healthcare reform, as previously reported in Healthcare Dive.
A 10% uptick in Colorado’s payroll tax would fund the state's universal healthcare program, according to American Health Line. State employers would be taxed nearly 7% of a worker’s wages and workers themselves would pay a 3% tax. Neither employers nor workers would pay premiums.
According to The Sacramento Bee, supporters say the plan “will cost $3 billion a year but will save $9 billion in healthcare administration costs compared with the current system.”
Waivers will be available in January 2017.
Because of Vermont’s failure, and a lack of guidance as to what can be proposed via the waiver, expectations for what states will do with this potential opportunity have declined. Maybe Colorado can become a visionary for such waivers. Or at least generate a couple of good headlines.