Are you ready for your favorite brewpub to close its doors? What will you do when you break your arm skateboarding and can’t get in to see your doctor because she closed her practice and moved out of state? How will you feel when your boss tells you that you’re laid off because of a 7% payroll tax increase? If you value the rights and freedoms described in our nation’s Declaration of Independence, you will vote “No” on Amendment 69.
The scenarios described above are all too plausible if Colorado voters vote “Yes” on Amendment 69 this coming November. Amendment 69, titled “Colorado Care”, would implement a single-payer healthcare system in the state of Colorado.
While Colorado Care’s goals of universal health care with its promise of no deductibles or co-pays sound really good, they can only be implemented at a high cost in terms of increased taxation, expansion of government and limitation of freedom.
In our nation’s Declaration of Independence, the authors outlined certain unalienable rights, and those rights include “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, and that to secure these rights, governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the governed.
The word “unalienable” means that these rights are not granted by anyone including the government; rather, you have these rights because you are alive in this world. The right to “Life” is self-evident. By impairing your ability to visit a doctor or receive necessary medical treatment in a timely fashion, Amendment 69 would endanger your right to Life. Other nations that have single payer healthcare – including Great Britain and Canada – have four to five month waiting periods for medically necessary procedures. Will you want your father or mother to have to wait that long for treatment of something that could harm or even end their life?
“Liberty” means free will and the social and political freedoms that everybody is entitled to, again by virtue of being alive. Amendment 69 will severely curtail your free will. For starters, you as a patient would be limited in the choice of doctors that you could see. You as a family member will not be able to secure the treatment your loved ones need. As a doctor, your liberty would be stolen because you would not be free to charge a fair price for the services you provide. Your property rights in your medical practice would be damaged because you might not be able to charge enough to cover your costs and to earn a living.
The “Pursuit of Happiness” also implicitly includes the concept that governments are instituted to protect property as well. Amendment 69 will violate everybody’s property rights through higher taxation – depriving you of the money you have earned through your productive labor – and the inability to pay a fair price for goods and services received or rendered. Small businesses and their owners will bear an unfair burden under Amendment 69. If your boss is a small business owner, not only will he have to pay a 6.7% tax on the wages he pays you, he will also have to pay 10% tax on his business income (if any). Are your parents retired and living off of Social Security and the money they’ve been able to save throughout their lives? They too will be taxed at 10% (or up to 50% during the “transitional phase”) of their pension, annuity, Social Security, 401K, IRA and other retirement income. True, there are some exclusions, but this still represents a massive tax increase on your parents and grandparents. Are they able to afford higher taxes?
Let’s get back to your favorite brewpub, neighborhood coffee shop or winery. The owner of your favorite hangout will most likely not be able to afford the 17% increase in payroll and personal taxes that Amendment 69 will impose. She will most likely have to close her doors, because most small businesses in Colorado operate on very thin profit margins, and most certainly will not be able to stay in business due to this massive tax increase.
Preserve freedom. Preserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Vote “No” on Amendment 69. There’s no such thing as “free healthcare”.
By Richard D. Turnquist
May 14, 2016