(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
POLS UPDATE: From NARAL Pro Choice Colorado’s Karen Middleton, we’re watching for coverage of today’s presser:
I am here today to restate our opposition and to make it perfectly clear that without comprehensive women’s health care, including insurance coverage for abortion care, this measure will not serve women and families in Colorado and is not in fact, universal.
In 1984, Colorado voters passed a constitutional ballot measure that explicitly bans any public funds to be used for abortion care…
Because Colorado Care would be subject to Section 50 as a “political subdivision” of the state, Colorado Care would be prohibited from providing coverage for any abortion services to women except when continuing the pregnancy would endanger the life of the pregnant woman.
This means that presently insured women – more than 550,000 women of childbearing age in Colorado – who, today, have insurance coverage for abortion services as part of their contracted benefits today, will lose access to abortion coverage benefits if Amendment 69 passes. This is not an abstract figure. It includes me, many of my staff, NARAL supporters and average Coloradans.
In the wake of studies from NARAL Pro Choice Colorado and the Colorado Health Institute revealing significant unintended consequences that could result from the passage of Amendment 69, the Board of Directors of ProgressNow Colorado voted to oppose the ballot measure despite broad agreement with the ColoradoCare campaign’s stated goals.
“The first thing I want is to acknowledge the goals and passion of the supporters of Amendment 69,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “Even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which has expanded access to healthcare for millions of Americans, we know more work is needed to ensure every American is affordably covered. Too many people remain uninsured and underinsured. As a result, far too many people in this country die prematurely from preventable and treatable conditions.”
“The truth is, nothing would make progressives in Colorado happier than taking a bold step toward single-payer health care,” Silverii said. “But there are real policy problems with Amendment 69 that its supporters did not anticipate. When our trusted partners on the issue of protecting reproductive choice tell us that a measure could create serious roadblocks for women who need abortions, we have to take that seriously. When one of the state’s leading health care research organizations tells us this is a plan that doesn’t work fiscally, we have to take that seriously.”
“While we agree with supporters of Amendment 69 that more reform is needed, there is so much good news on health care in Colorado we need to be talking about,” said Silverii. “Thanks to Obamacare via the state’s visionary Medicaid expansion and the launch of Connect for Health Colorado, we have cut the uninsured rate in our state in half. Instead of abandoning the progress we’ve made in Colorado in recent years, we need to focus on protecting the gains we’ve already made–and building on that progress instead of starting from scratch.”
“Amendment 69 is a well-intentioned but flawed proposal,” Silverii said. “Let’s move forward in 2017 with reform on a national level, and let the success we’ve already enjoyed in Colorado be a model to be proud of.”