2010 Ballot: Amendment 63 Makes the Cut

August 27 2010, 10:13 AM

Among the myriad choices on this November's ballot, you'll find a measure that seeks to ban what conservatives deride as "Obamacare," the sweeping new federal health-care-reform law that aims to make care more affordable and accessible for Americans. Backers of Amendment 63, who dub themselves "Health Care Choice," have submitted the required number of signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State's Office, reports the Denver Business Journal. The proposed amendment to the state constitution declares that residents cannot be forced to receive health care and that the ability of Coloradans to pay a medical professional directly for health care is a right. The measure was authored by Jon Caldara, president of the libertarian-minded Independence Institute, who was asked to comment by The Denver Post about criticisms portraying the measure as merely symbolic. "People think it's symbolic? Then by all means vote for it. You've got nothing to lose," Caldara responds. "It's not symbolic. This is not just about Obamacare; this is about protecting our health-care choice for decades to come."

Colorado Deserves Better, a group of medical professionals and consumer advocates who oppose the amendment, have issued a statement calling the measure costly and unnecessary. The Colorado Independent partly chronicles the legal battle along Amendment 63's path to the ballot. Meanwhile, needy patients who have government-backed Medicaid, as well as elderly ones with Medicare, are being turned away if they seek treatment from two clinics at the University of Colorado Hospital. The clinics claim that a 1990 Colorado statute requiring the hospital to provide $4 in care for every $3 the state gives the hospital from its general fund for needy patients does not matter, since the state has not provided such funds for at least the last three years, reports The Denver Post.