National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

Colo. voters reject ballot measure endangering abortion coverage

Colorado voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure (Amendment 69) that would have established a single-payer health insurance system and potentially endangered abortion coverage, Reuters reports (Respaut/Coffman, Reuters, 11/8).

Voters in the state rejected the ballot measure with 80 percent of the vote (Tenga Media election results, 11/8).

Background

The ballot measure would have enabled the state to cover the cost of health insurance by eliminating private health care plans and instituting a 10 percent "premium tax." If implemented, employers would have covered 6.67 percent of the 10 percent tax, while employees would have paid 3.33 percent of the tax. The state also would have been able to use federal funding under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148).

Under the measure, the board of ColoradoCare, the campaign driving Amendment 69, would have been authorized to approve or deny payments for any unspecified medical service, including abortion care. ColoradoCare's legal counsel said the ballot measure would not have had an effect on abortion coverage for state residents.

However, while expressing support for universal health care, abortion-rights supporters voiced concern that approving the measure could restrict abortion coverage because of a 1984 state constitutional amendment that bans the use of public funds for most abortion care. Specifically, advocates voiced concern that ColoradoCare would deny funding for abortion care for Medicaid-ineligible women except in limited situations, such as life endangerment (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/30).