Amendment 69, ColoradoCare

On Wednesday, Mr. Doug Barakat wrote to the Daily Camera about his sincere concerns about costs associated with Amendment 69 that would create a statewide nonprofit health and non-governmental care system for all residents. Health care is a complicated subject and confusion is being spread by corporate-sponsored special interests. In brief, instead of having to purchase health insurance from corporations, all Colorado residents would be automatically covered. ColoradoCare would be run like a cooperative and managed by elected trustees. Colorado would once again be a pioneering state, establishing an alternative to our broken, overly expensive and often ineffective current system. Its goal would be disease prevention, health promotion and quality health care rather than profit.

Yes, a small number of people may pay more, but the great majority will pay far less under ColoradoCare, including 85 percent of seniors. Businesses which already offer health insurance to employees are likely to save a great deal of money. Small business which don't now offer health insurance will need to do so, which is the right thing to do. Health care costs are a big part of the hollowing out of our middle class — 60 percent of bankruptcies and most foreclosures are due to health care expenses. One out of four Coloradans are uninsured or underinsured. Over 500 fellow Coloradans die yearly because they can't afford care for treatable illnesses.


Rather than view health care as a privilege for those who can afford it, let's recognize that access to quality health care is a human right and a blessing for everyone. Without it, "the pursuit of happiness" loses its meaning. A large percent of our 500 or so volunteers across Colorado are local nurses, doctors, social workers and therapists, like myself. For details, please see

Vicki Karlin, Lafayette

Emergency preparedness for pets

Hurricane Matthew — the Category 3 storm roaring toward the U.S. coast after ravaging Haiti — underlines the urgent need for emergency preparedness, which includes precautionary measures to keep your beloved pets safe when disasters strike.

American Humane is reminding pet owners everywhere to put together kits containing essential emergency supplies, including enough water and nonperishable pet food for several days; an extra leash or harness; a weeklong supply of any medications your pet requires, stored in a waterproof container; copies of your pet's medical records and vaccinations; and recent photos of your pet.

Pets should always wear collars with up-to-date identification information, including a cellphone number, in case of disaster-related power outages or evacuation. American Humane also recommends microchipping your pet to increase the likelihood of reunification in the event of separation.

But above all, pet owners should follow one simple rule to keep their animal companions safe in disasters: If you evacuate, bring your pets with you.

Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane