This is in response to the letter to the editor from Joseph Rogers in the Dec. 18 Colorado Statesman.

ColoradoCare is indeed a big government takeover of health care.

First: ColoradoCare will become the only option for most Coloradans. ColoradoCare will administer all state and federal healthcare programs except for Medicare. These programs will remain options only for those who are eligible.

Honest supporters of ColoradoCare — including Mr. Rogers — have made it clear that ColoradoCare is intended to “replace” the private options that the rest of us use for health insurance, thereby becoming our single-payer option.

More cunning ColoradoCare supporters pretend that private insurance companies will continue to compete with ColoradoCare. But imagine how unfair this competition will be. Imagine a lawn service that said, “We’ll cut your grass if you want, but either way, we’re going to charge you for the service.” Most people will use what they must pay for.

To suggest that many Coloradans will continue to buy private health insurance means admitting that the quality of ColoradoCare will be so low, it will be better to pay twice to get decent private health insurance.

Second: Not only is it fair to question the accuracy of the cost estimate for ColoradoCare at $25 billion annually, because government has a bad track record of under-estimating the cost of social programs, but the more important point is that ColoradoCare will sever the consumer from what he or she is consuming.

We could fund anything like ColoradoCare. “ColoradoFood” might use a tax to fund groceries, and then we would not pay for food at the store. But we don’t use this model because we understand that, as vital as food is to life, people will over-consume without any incentive not to do so. And this will ultimately result in added costs — not savings.

Third: It’s laughable to suggest that ColoradoCare is not big government. Its elected board will become every bit as politicized as other elected offices. The Colorado Department of Revenue will collect the taxes for it. It requires a ballot initiative to be created, unlike other co-ops like REI, Ace Hardware or Land O’Lakes.

In fact, the only way ColoradoCare is different from other government activities is that it is troublingly exempt from normal governmental checks and balances, like TABOR and recalls.

ColoradoCare will not “take government … out of the picture,” but, rather, the opposite. To pass it would be a grave mistake.

Hadley Heath Manning

Director of health policy

Independent Women's Forum