Progressive Dream of Single-Payer Healthcare Goes Down Hard in Colorado


Bernie Sanders and Noam Chomsky backed the initiative, which failed spectacularly on Tuesday night.

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Even as voters in Colorado were backing Hillary Clinton for president and approving new taxes on cigarettes and soda, they soundly rejected a proposal to increase payroll taxes to fund a statewide single-payer healthcare system.

With only a few precincts waiting to be reported on Wednesday morning, more than 79 percent of voters had opposed the initiative.

The single-payer health care system would have provided hospitalization, access to prescription drugs, and most primary and specialty care, but it came with a hefty price tag. Amendment 69 would have increased payroll taxes by 10 percent and generated about $25 billion in annual revenue to fund ColoradoCare.

The defeat was a thorough one. Amendment 69 failed to get even 40 percent of the vote in any Colorado county, according to results reported by Politico.

The city of Boulder became the third municipality in the country to approve a special tax on soda and sugary drinks, but the massive tax increase needed to fund ColoradoCare was too much for residents of the famously progressive part of the state to swallow. The single-payer initiative failed by a margin of nearly 2-to-1 in Boulder County.