December 30 2009, 10:34 AM
Come next year, Colorado voters could be asked to support a state constitutional amendment that would ban at least part of the federal government's health-care-reform package. Jon Caldara, of the libertarian-minded Independence Institute, is still working on the language of the proposal, which would need more than 76,000 signatures to make the ballot, according to The Denver Post. He's likely to target any requirements that force people to purchase insurance and wants to allow them to purchase plans in other states. "It is my goal to make sure that Washington doesn't jam Obamacare down the throats of Coloradans," Caldara says. Add to the chorus state Representative Cindy Acree, an Aurora Republican, (pictured) who says federal reform infringes upon "civil liberties." Across the nation, insurance companies, hospitals, and other health-care interests are moving their fight to statehouses in search of new ways to influence the outcome of the proposed health-care legislation, reports The New York Times. In an attempt to influence health-care reform, groups that provide health care contributed about $102 million to state political campaigns---more than the $89 million the same donors spent at the federal level. "The states are the next battle," says Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager for the liberal advocacy group Health Care for America Now, "and the insurers and health-care industry are primed up and ready to go." Meanwhile, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has directed his staff to investigate the legality of requiring people to buy health insurance or face a penalty, a provision in the bills before Congress (via the Miami Herald).