NARFE is strongly opposed to Amendment 69

By Ted Van Hintum

Dear Editor:

The National Active and Retired Federal Employee (NARFE) Association represents the interests of almost 100,000 federal employees and retirees in the state of Colorado. ColoradoCare, also known as Amendment 69, would replace the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) as a single-payer health care system in Colorado. It would cover all state residents and include coverage for primary and specialty care, hospitalization and prescription drugs among other services.

ColoradoCare would be financed by a 10 percent payroll tax on workers in the state. Workers would pay 3.33 percent of the tax and employers would pay 6.67 percent. Non-payroll income including interest, dividends, Social Security benefits and pension payments and annuities would also be subject to the 10 percent tax. For federal employees and retirees, the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP) is one of the most important benefits they have. It provides comprehensive health care benefits with insurance premiums partially paid for by the federal government. If FEHBP coverage is dropped by the insured, it is lost forever. Federal employees and retirees would be able to keep their federal health care plans under the ColoradoCare Act. However, they would be subject to the same 10 percent tax rate as other Coloradans to finance ColoradoCare. This would increase state taxes for federal employees and retirees for health services they would chose not to receive.

In addition, health care providers may be driven out of the state due to ColoradoCare, which would limit the number of providers of health care services available to federal employees and retirees. For these reasons, NARFE strongly opposes Amendment 69.

Ted Van Hintum
Colorado Federation of NARFE Chapters