Progress Now comes out against Colorado Care ballot measure

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DENVER — It was progressives battling progressives during a morning news conference in Denver on Wednesday.

In a move that surprised some, Progress Now, a liberal-leaning group, came out against Colorado Care, a form of single payer health insurance championed by many Democrats.

During his remarks, Executive Director Ian Silverii was taunted and booed by supporters of Amendment 69 who gathered moments before Progress Now’s news conference.

“You think this is easy for us? This is tough, but doing the right thing is tough,” Silverii said.

Silverii was joined by other progressive groups, including NARAL and UCFW as well as Democratic House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran.

“We are troubled by the disproportionate burden these new taxes would have on small families and small businesses,” Duran said.

Colorado Care supporters joked that Progress Now should be called “Progress Later,” with leaders saying progressive leaders “sold out’ to insurance companies.

“Colorado politics is taking a bizarre turn today because a group of people who said they always favored universal health care  is coming out against it,” said T.R. Reid, a leader within the ballot initiative.

Colorado Care would essentially replace private health insurance in Colorado. It would raise payroll taxes 3.3 percent on employees and 6.6 percent on employers. It would tax retirement income above $46,000 at 10 percent. It would also tax any rental income at 10 percent.

Supporters argue it would be a cheaper option than current health premium expenses. No deductibles or co-pays would exist under Colorado Care and the 21-member elected board would be nonprofit.