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The Board of Co-operate Colorado is excited to announce a new strategic plan for winning when the Colorado Health Care Cooperative goes to the voters. Traditional ballot initiative campaigns turn in petition signatures during the summer before an election, leaving only a few months, or weeks, to run a voter campaign. Health care reform needs more time for voters to learn about and understand the opportunities available by voting “yes” for the Cooperative. Given the heavily funded opposition, the Cooperative would surely lose a six week TV/media “war.”
Co-operate Colorado will run the Petition Signature Gathering Campaign, Phase I, for the Colorado Health Care Cooperative during the spring and summer of 2015. The Colorado Health Care Cooperative will be placed on the ballot in November of 2016. Phase II is a Voter Campaign, built on previous work and organizing efforts, but now with its own dedicated focus and enough time to be effective.
We will gather signatures for the entire 6 month time allotment beginning this spring regardless of when the Title Board gives final approval. (We must anticipate the typical opposition objections and appeals during the Title Board process—although those delaying tactics become irrelevant with our new timeline.) See below for graphic of timeline.
Some of the advantages of the new strategy:
. 12-14 months to run a Voter Campaign when voters, donors, endorsers, and activists are assured that the Initiative will be on the ballot.
. The six month signature gathering period provides valuable educational opportunities and maximizes the ability to use volunteer signature gatherers (who are more knowledgeable about and committed to the Cooperative than paid collectors would be).
. More progressives (people with minds open to change—liberal and conservative, and from all political parties, because the Cooperative appeals to all Coloradans) will vote in 2016 than in 2015.
. The Cooperative Initiative can be coordinated with other ballot issues in 2016.
Excited as we are with the more realistic strategy, this will not be a piece of cake!
From November 15, 2015 to February 1, 2016 we must raise at least $60,000 and obtain commitments from at least 200 signature collectors. Ultimately, we’ll need 2-4 times that much to successfully run a Petition Signature Gathering Campaign. We need to hire staff to coordinate and organize the petition distribution, collection and volunteers. We need to print petitions. We need to pay for the database, rent, travel expenses, etc. Please, adopt this 60/200 project as yours. You’ve been great supporters; you are possibly tired of campaigns, but take a breath and hop on for the most exciting, daring, significant ride of your life. Health care for every Colorado resident, within a very few years—that is certainly something to be part of.
The Colorado Health Care Cooperative is an investment in our future.
It’s a smart way to bring health care costs under control and to create a health care system that allows everyone in the state of Colorado to have access to high-quality medical care. It is a way to do health care better and spend our money wisely.
The Cooperative would operate just like any cooperative business whose members come together for their mutual benefit. Yet it’s an ingenious Colorado solution to the health care crisis.
First and foremost, the Cooperative would be a business that would be operated and owned by its members, who would democratically elect a Board of Directors under clean election rules. The best care often comes from local efforts and the Cooperative would support and coordinate that care.
It is a fair system with nearly everyone in the state paying into the Cooperative so that all residents could have health care at a cost that is much less than we are paying. Premiums into the Cooperative would be based on income and businesses would contribute, too.
The Cooperative would attack health care costs on a number of fronts. First, the Cooperative would eliminate the 20-30 percent of overhead created by insurance companies. Second, the Smart Card, which would carry your medical history, would reduce fraud and duplication of expensive tests.
Because of the economies of scale, the Cooperative would be able to lower costs for prescription drugs and medical supplies by being able to negotiate bulk purchasing.
The benefits to members would be extraordinary. The Cooperative would provide coverage equal to or better than most “platinum” insurance plans, placing a high priority on preventive care to help stop the rise of chronic diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure. There would be no deductibles and no co-pays for primary care. Money would not be a barrier to receiving necessary care. It would eliminate medical bankruptcy in Colorado. Plus, you would always be able to choose your own doctor or health care provider.
For businesses, it would do away with the necessity of administering employee health plans or workers’ compensation health care benefits, giving Colorado businesses a competitive advantage on the world market.
Health care professionals would no longer have to deal with the paperwork from scores of insurance companies and hundreds of different plans Providers would continue to do business, as they do now, in for-profit, non-profit or public entities.
In short, the Cooperative would give each of us peace of mind when we need health care the most. It’s hard to put a price on that, but we did, and the Cooperative rocks.
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Thanks for all that you do and all that you give. It matters.
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