After the Bernie Sanders campaign put single-payer healthcare in the national spotlight, it's no surprise that many of his supporters are continuing to carry the torch. An initiative proposing a single-payer healthcare plan, popularly known as ColoradoCare, was placed on the November ballot by a petition signed by over 150,000 people. If voted in, ColoradoCare would create a statewide health system supported by an increase in taxes as well as employer and employee contributions.
Pro-reform advocates, most prominently ColoradoCareYes, claim ColoradoCare would close significant gaps left open by the Affordable Care Act. Opponents, such as Coloradans for Coloradans, cite the estimated $25 billion price tag and fears that medical professionals would be deterred from practicing in the state. The debate over ColoradoCare has attracted Democrats to both sides, highlighting a deep divide between progressives and liberals.
But who exactly is backing each side of the proposition?
ColoradoCareYes is backed mostly by individuals, who are responsible for 92.6% of all the money raised this cycle. Coloradans for Coloradans, on the other hand, has raised 98% of its funds from organizations.
Here is the list of the top organizations fighting to oppose ColoradoCare. The list includes medical and pharmaceutical groups such as Pharma Research and DaVita, and several other pro-business advocacy groups.
And here is a breakdown of the individuals who are supporting ColoradoCare. Medical professionals and educators are among the top fields:
The division is extremely clear cut: individuals and small-dollar donors are powering ColoradoCare while businesses and organizations are leading the fight against it - illustrating the challenges of policies that impact regular people and corporations in different ways.
The result of the Colorado ballot vote has broader ramifications beyond the state. ColoradoCare is the first major test of the movement to mainstream single-payer healthcare. The notoriously purple state will serve as a litmus test of the feasibility of implementing single-payer healthcare, the outcome of which will shape the healthcare debate in elections to come.