The sweet side of voting yes on 2H
Boulder has long been known as one of the fittest cities in the U.S. Surprisingly, even in this bastion of joggers, cyclists, and hikers, our obesity rate has doubled over the last 20 years. Unfortunately, this is consistent with an alarming trend going on nationwide — not just among adults, but increasingly with children as well.
According to the American Heart Association, one in three children and teens in the U.S. is overweight or obese. As a result, my colleagues and I are caring for kids with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and elevated cholesterol. These are health conditions we shouldn't see in kids.
A major factor in this obesity epidemic is the consumption of high-calorie, low-nutrition sugary drinks. Sadly, on average, our children consume an additional 200 to 300 calories per day from sugar-sweetened drinks. Even one 20-ounce bottle of soda contains the equivalent of 22 packets of sugar! Unless we put the squeeze on sugary drinks, many of our kids may face lifelong health issues and even have a shorter life expectancy.
We need education programs to teach parents about the damage caused by sugary drinks so they can make healthier choices for their children. Our communities need programs to prevent diabetes and other chronic diseases to give kids a healthy start. We also need more fitness programs to get kids moving.
The sweet side of ballot measure 2H is that we can help our children and their families to get and stay healthy. By voting yes on 2H, we can reduce consumption of sugary drinks and improve access to healthy foods, nutrition education, and physical activity. We've seen measures like 2H work to reduce soda consumption in Berkeley, Calif., and Mexico. Join the movement and take a stand for our kids and families in Boulder.
Dr. Christa Ambrose, Boulder
Better health care
Our current health care system is an expensive mess. We're trapped in a wasteful, inefficient privatized system dominated by for-profit insurance corporations. ColoradoCare (Amendment 69) is a first step toward extracting ourselves from this predicament.
ColoradCare is an opportunity to improve our health care and lower our costs. It would be operated as a nonprofit cooperative and would expand the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since the insurance industry would no longer be in control, ColoradoCare would lower costs for most and save an enormous amount of money overall.
Every Coloradan would be covered. You, not some insurance company, would choose your doctor and hospital. An estimated 80 to 85 percent of seniors would spend less on health care with ColoradoCare because they would no longer need any supplemental coverage. It also relieves doctors of a huge paperwork burden and would be cheaper for employers.
How can this possibly work? It works by eliminating the colossal amounts that insurance companies spend on paperwork, marketing, and bloated executive compensation. Its a win-win for all of us.
Virtually every other industrialized nation already operates with a fair and just single-payer system similar to ColoradoCare. Their experience shows that such a system is far more efficient and effective than our system.
Amendment 69 has been very well thought out, but as with any new concept, it will probably require fine tuning as we gain experience. In any case, it's a necessary first step.
Predictably, ColoradoCare is furiously opposed by the insurance industry. They have spent millions and orchestrated a barrage of letters, articles, and TV ads opposing it. So keep that in mind as you decide. More at ColoradoCareYes.co.
Arden Buck, Nederland
Amendment 69: Opportunity for change
I support ColoradoCare, Amendment 69, because it will provide access to affordable, quality health care for all Coloradans. This matters to the families of Coloradans who die each year because they don't have health insurance; to those declaring bankruptcy because they can't pay medical bills; to those who pay ever higher premiums for increasing deductibles and more limited benefits; to health care providers who deal with more paperwork and red tape to provide patients the care they need.
We can change that situation by voting yes on Amendment 69 to implement a nonprofit, resident-owned, non-governmental health care financing system designed to ensure comprehensive health care for all Coloradans.
The economics are straightforward: $25 billion in taxes will replace $30 billion Coloradans now pay in insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-pays. That savings will stay in Colorado to stimulate local economies.
Amendment 69 was developed by Coloradans including health care and mental health professionals. It is funded by Coloradans and was brought to the ballot by over 100,000 voters signing petitions. Opposers are primarily funded by out-of-state insurance companies that stand to lose profit if Coloradans self-insure.
ColoradoCare would be run by a 21-member board elected by and accountable to Colorado residents, not government controlled. Health care practitioners would practice in the setting of their choice and be paid competitive rates. Patients will choose their practitioner. Premium taxes can be increased only by a majority vote of Colorado residents.
Most families, individuals and businesses will pay less in premium taxes than they currently pay for health insurance. Calculate your projected expense at coloradocare.org. Multiple analyses show ColoradoCare to be successful for 10 years without a premium tax increase. By contrast, health insurance premiums are projected to rise 20 to 40 percent in 2017 alone.
This is an opportunity to ensure all Coloradans have access to quality health care now and in the future.
Jan Foster Miiller, Crestone