Trying for single-payer health care in Colorado 

click to enlarge MADELEINE SCHMIDT
  • Madeleine Schmidt

With the Affordable Care Act under strain and congressional Republicans' replacement efforts in flux, universal health care advocates in Colorado got together for the second annual Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care Conference on July 15 at Pipefitters Local 208's union hall in Denver.

Despite last year's failure of Amendment 69, which would have implemented a single-payer health care system in Colorado, event-goers were optimistic that the country is edging closer to creating a progressive majority committed to leaving profit-driven insurance in the past.

"It was our first try, and you don't always win on your first try," author and Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care Chair T.R. Reid (pictured) said about last year's campaign. "We'll win this eventually. One thing we learned is everybody in Colorado has figured out that our current system is not working. ... And of course now [Republicans] are going to make it worse [should they be able to pass a repeal and/or replacement bill], which is probably in the long run a good thing, because things have to get worse before they get better. The darkest hour is just before dawn."

Colorado counties with the highest percentage of people with health insurance

1) Douglas County 95.22%

2) Lincoln County 95.07%

3) Broomfield County 93.66% 4) Mineral County 92.42%

5) Boulder County 91.61%

6) Washington County 91.18% 7) Clear Creek County 91.17% 8) Fremont County 90.95%

9) Jefferson County 90.95% 10) Bent County 90.91%

11) Larimer County 90.84% 12) Crowley County 90.35% 13) Elbert County 90.1%

14) El Paso County 89.93% 15) Rio Blanco County 89.8%

Colorado Average 86.15%

Source: SmartAsset’s third annual insurance study, which uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2015 American Commu- nity Survey, Insurance Research Council, and American Council of Life Insurers 2016 State Fact Sheets.

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