Friday, March 11, 2011

Colorado Democratic Party Endorses SB-168, The Colorado Health Care Cooperative

The Central Committee of the Colorado Democratic Party made an emphatic endorsement in support of health care reform when it voted by an overwhelming majority to endorse The Colorado Health Care Cooperative Bill, SB11-168, at its Biennial Organizational Meeting last Saturday, March 5th.

Over 600 Democratic Party activists gathered to conduct elections for State Party offices and address other business. Senator Irene Aguilar addressed the body and read the resolution to enthusiastic support from the packed meeting room at the Colorado Convention Center . Senator Aguilar (Senate District 32, Denver ) is the primary sponsor of the bill, and she is joined by Representative John Kefalas (House District 52, Greeley) as the primary House sponsor. The bill has 24 co-sponsors in the Senate and House.

“It was an honor to see the enthusiastic reception of the State Central Committee members to SB11-168,” Senator Aguilar said. “It is clear that they agree with me that access to basic health care is something we need to ensure for everyone in Colorado .”

SB11-168 calls for the creation of a detailed blueprint for a Colorado Health Care Cooperative that would ultimately go before all Colorado voters for approval as a referred ballot measure in 2013. A board appointed by the governor and the legislature would oversee the plan’s creation at no cost to tax payers.

The resolution cites the Colorado Democratic Party’s platform, which calls for a system of universal health care that is independent of employment. The resolution addresses the fact that over 800,000 Coloradans are currently without health insurance, in part due to the rising costs that are forcing employers to reduce or eliminate health benefits.

“The lack of access to quality health care is an inequity which causes needless suffering and death,” the resolution reads. “An effective means is needed to address the problems of access, cost, and quality through a comprehensive health care system that guarantees health care that is primarily publicly funded and privately delivered with individual choice of provider and services.”

The bill passed through the Senate’s Business, Labor, and Technology Committee on February 28th, and will move to a vote on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.

The full text of the resolution is available at Additional information about SB11-168, including the full text of the bill, is available at