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Colorado Could Become the First state with Universal Health Care

A plan to make Colorado the first state to opt out of the federal health law and replace it with universal health care, funded by the taxpayer, is going to be on the Colorado ballot in 2016.

Supporters of universal health care gathered 158,831 qualified signatures, which is more signatures than are required to put the measure on the ballot.

Backers of the measure say employers would pay around 7 percent of a worker’s wages into the system. Workers would put around 3 percent into the system. Supporters say the plan would cost around $3 billion a year, but would save $9 billion.

Skeptics of the measure say costs would spiral out of control. It is likely the proposed measure will be discussed in the upcoming presidential election, since Colorado is a battleground state. Groups from both sides are likely going to invest a lot in order to advance the measure or defeat it.

If the ballot is passed, an entirely new government entity would be in charge of running the new health care program. Elected officials in 21 districts would be on the board and would be in charge of raising taxes to fund the new health care system.

Colorado is not the first state to attempt something like this. A few years ago, Vermont got support for a single payer health care system, but eventually the state admitted a large program couldn’t be financed due to a lack of money.