Anthem, Inc. and Louisville Mom Invited to Debate Amendment 69
Top Donors Against and For ColoradoCare Would Face-Off in October
DENVER – The ColoradoCareYES campaign is pleased to announce plans for a major debate on Amendment 69. The tentative date is Monday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m., but we are awaiting confirmation from the opposition speaker.
ColoradoCareYES has invited the two largest donors to any campaign promoting or opposing Amendment 69 to take part in the debate, choosing the biggest contributor to the YES efforts and the counterpart leading contributor to the NO campaign.
The biggest contributor from among the 3,620 contributions to the YES campaign through September 19 is Lyn Gullette, a self-employed health care provider, a former teacher, and a mother from Louisville, Colorado. Her numerous contributions over the past two years total $168,034.
The biggest contributor from among the 365 contributions to any opposition campaign is an Indianapolis-based corporation, Anthem, Inc. With 99% of all opposition funds coming from corporations, it is a challenge to reach an actual individual on the list of top donors, but ColoradoCareYES has invited Anthem President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Swedish to debate Gullette.
Gullette has accepted the invitation, while we are still waiting for a response from Anthem.
“As a real person and a major donor to ColoradoCareYES, I’d enjoy a debate with a corporation that’s a million-dollar donor to the NO campaign,” Gullette said.”I’ve donated thousands of hours of work in addition to money to the cause of obtaining health care for every Coloradan.”
Gullette has a long record of advocacy on behalf of the people of Colorado, passionately supporting a”Medicare-for-All” type system that would provide usable health care coverage for over 1 million residents of Colorado who are currently uninsured or under-insured. Amendment 69 would cover every Coloradan with benefits meeting or exceeding the standards under the Affordable Care Act while saving individuals and families thousands and tens of thousands of dollars for a collective$4.5 billion in annual savings statewide.
Both sides of the issue seem to find common ground in an understanding of the shortcomings of the current corporate insurance model, which leaves hundreds of thousands of Coloradans with no health care insurance and elevates medical bankruptcy as the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.
“With the current medical industrial complex health care system,my contribution is no larger a sacrifice than people routinely make when a family member has an accident or illness,” Gullette said. “I’m so excited about Colorado’s opportunity to make the system work for the real people that I’m doing everything I can.”
Anthem has yet to offer a public statement regarding their opposition to a proposed health care solution that eliminates deductibles and insurance premiums and covers all Coloradans — including over 350,000 currently uninsured Coloradans — with comprehensive benefits at a lower cost. The only downside of a victory for Amendment 69 would be a blow to the corporate profits of industry giants like Anthem, whose 2017 rates were announced last week with a 20% rise on average in the cost of Colorado health insurance premiums on the individual market next year, with some people projected to experience a 55% rate increase.
The binding language in Amendment 69 means ColoradoCare cannot raise the premium deductions beyond the 3.33% for employees and 6.67% for employers without a vote of the people of Colorado approving it. While ColoradoCare’s board of trustees would be elected locally and subject to transparency practices and sunshine laws,corporate insurance industry boards have never had to answer to the people affected by their decisions, so the upcoming debate offers a unique opportunity for Coloradans to hear from Anthem’s leader regarding their support for a status quo system that leads to 535 deaths a year due to lack of insurance.
For more information on Amendment 69, please visit www.ColoradoCare.org.