Neil O'Keeffe

Neil O'Keeffe 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

I humbly stand corrected, it would in fact be mandatory and replace our broken free market system for affordable health care. Colorado has led the way in the past in spite of all the "sky is falling predictions" regarding the legalization of pot and this may well be the next Colorado innovation being a purple state and all. In the end I don't see how our current healthcare system with its profit driven motives can ever succeed at being available and affordable for all. How many seniors complain about their Medicare coverage, very few yet it was supposedly doomed from the start. The ACA is an abomination because it was a sell out to the insurance industry, the number one question should be is affordable healthcare a right or a privelage? I know where I stand, how about you?

Aguilar: Rocky Mountain Health Plans, at the end of the day, is still an insurer. In ColoradoCare, we’re all putting our money in, so in some ways it’s a cooperative. But it’s different from a cooperative because you don’t have to put money in if you don’t have a lot of money. The pure cooperative people tell us to stop calling it a cooperative, both because it’s mandatory and everybody doesn’t pay the same. But we like to call it a cooperative because the board is accountable to and elected by the people in the state.

Schneider: Tell me about where that money comes from.

Aguilar: You collect the funds through a premium tax—a 6.6 percent employer tax across the board and a 3.3 percent individual tax. If you’re self-employed, it’s the whole 10 percent, but because it’s tax deductible it ends up being less than that. The funds are collected through our taxes, but they’re transferred into a separate authority that is run by its own elected board of directors.

Schneider: What does that revenue buy?

Aguilar: We had a fiscal analysis done by Gerald Friedman, an economist at UMass, Amherst. He anticipated that with the Affordable Care Act, health care would be about 19.4 percent of the gross state product, and if we were to switch to this model, it would be closer to 15 percent. By Obamacare standards, the level of care would be the very top—Platinum Plus—covering 90 percent of your total health costs. We added in no copay for primary care and low copayments that the primary-care provider can waive if necessary to prevent longer-term costs. We also had it priced for everyone in state, regardless of documentation status, under the knowledge that we would not be turning people away for emergency care, so it made more sense to have up-front preventative care available for all the people who lived in the state. Vermont’s single-payer policy imploded because it was way too expensive for them. It’s a small state. But we have the numbers.

http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/behind-colorados-push-for-universal-health-care-governed-by-the-people-20151023

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Everything I have heard and read to date does not indicate that this will be mandatory for all residents and if so then I apologies for any misleading statements. Ken I don't think that nebulous section you quoted clearly defends either of our positions. Time for everyone to do their own due diligence on this and report back, I for one may be less supportive if it is in fact a mandatory tax for all residents, but how else could they estimate $25 billion in funding.

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Ken, please point out where it says that participation is mandatory and that all Colorado residents and businesses will be taxed regardless of usage?

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

I know facts can be very difficult to grasp especially for those that get caught up in political ideologies but how about just for a minute everyone put down their assumptions, agendas, ideologies and cynical expectations and look at this with open objective eyes. Mike you need to get your facts straight about what the ACA is and isn't before you start making assumptions about CC and then turn off the TV, take a deep breath and get some fresh air. The sooner everyone acknowledges that change is inevitable and all things are impermanent the happier everyone will be. Just my two cents for what it's worth.

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Larry, if you don't use it you won't be taxed, I'm not sure why you would choose to use it instead of your supplemental insurance to Medicare. In all likelihood it would be more expensive than your supplemental insurance because it iwould likely be duplicating much of your Medicare coverage. I am not a representative of CC just a proponent. Hoping that as this moves forward answers to questions like yours will be forthcoming. In the meantime an accountant or financial advisor may be able to help you with the tax nuances/implications.

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Larry that's what you have a financial advisor for and frankly CC's pros and cons probably have the lowest impact on seniors due to Medicare than any other demographic group.

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Michael, don't you get it? Not sure where you are getting your 80-20%'split on medical vs administrative info from but doesn't competition supposedly force business to sharpen their pencils? How do you think our medical costs have gotten so out of control in the first place could it because of special interests and lack of competition? Anyway here is a link to top CEO compensation, recognize any names? Please explain to me again how that when we eliminate the middle man a more competitively priced product can not be delivered regardless of the industry.

Wendell Potter, former public relations executive for Cigna, where CEO David Cordani raked in a $14.5 million salary in 2014, said, “There’s no doubt that one of the reasons why Americans pay more for health insurance and for healthcare than people in any other country in the world is because of this high executive compensation.” http://medcitynews.com/2015/06/what-were-the-top-healthcare-ceo-salaries-last-year/

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Carl my comment about government minions being beholding to corporations and special interests such as BIG EVERYTHING is more directed at our federal government specifically the legislative branch. Most if not all of the true progressive innovation these days is coming from the grassroots state/local level of which I am a BIT less cynical about.

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Correct me if I am wrong but it my understanding is that CC is not intended to replace private insurance or Medicaid. It is offering an option that in my opinion will greatly benefit the individual Colorado resident by eliminating or vastly lowering deductible/out of pocket expenses,as well as have a stabilizing effect on annual individual/family health care cost. Not to mention that the private insurance market will have to sharpen their pencils if they wish to be competitive and maintain their market share and after all isn't this what our free market system is all about? The private insurance industry has always been opposed to all forms of universal care because they have grown very comfortable with the fact that our healthcare system is vastly more expensive with no better outcomes that continues to line the pockets of the middle man. It has become the American Way to profit on sickness and death and God forbid anyone get in the way of that. If you doubt that just look at the most recent scandal about the epi-pen and the company's usury profit taking. Just one of nearly a weekly example of our broken healthcare system that many are too affraid to address.

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 weeks, 6 days ago on Residents divided over universal health care proposal

Scott, let's see where to start. First although a scaled down version of Medicare CC will most certainly have negotiating strength with providers and Pharma. Just look at what YVM has done to become more competitive and keep $$ in valley with regard to lowering cost of MRI's etc especially with the announcement that they are soon to have competition. With regard to higher taxes everyone must keep in mind that these higher taxes will be taking the place of escalating insurance premiums and skyrocketing deductibles, so for the individual at least the out of pocket expense will actually be reduced and allow for savings. With regard to employers especially the smaller ones like Rex, it would seem prudent that these higher taxes via payroll could be offset by a comparable deduction, I don't know all the details yet but there must be something addressing this additional cost to employers that are not already providing insurance to their employees.

Yes opposition to this follows a similar argument to the increased minimum wage issue but why is it we are the only industrialized country in the world that puts the almighty $$$ ahead of the greater good, I guess that does make us truly exceptional. I can understand why many employers small and large won't like this and my gues is it is more associated with the independence it will give every employee who will no longer have to hold onto a job solely because of their employers healthcare benefits. From a purely entrepreneurial prospective it could actually enhance commerce as many individuals will now have the ability to strike out on their own and start business ventures they previously couldn't justify.

I suggest that everyone take the time as some point to watch Michael Moores WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, it is an eye opener and a great testimonial to so many great American ideas and approaches to creating a better society for all that have gone by the wayside as our system/politics have devolved to putting profit above all else and has given up control to big business (oil, Pharma, bank, military...) and their political minions that haven't represented the voter in decades. JMHO. 3-2-1... Bring it on to all the usual suspects!

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