Sanders Champions Colorado Single Payer Effort as Model for Nation
"Colorado can send a shot that will be heard all over the country and all over the world."
"Millions of people are watching what you do," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told voters in Boulder, Colorado on Monday.
The progressive firebrand and former presidential candidate had traveled to the Rocky Mountain foothills to campaign on behalf of a state ballot measure that would establish a state-run, single-payer health care system in Colorado—one that he said could be a model for the nation.
"The current American healthcare system is dysfunctional and it has to change," Sanders told the crowd of more than 2,000 at the University of Colorado Boulder's Farrand Field. "Colorado can send a shot that will be heard all over the country and all over the world."
Colorado's Amendment 69, a citizen-initiated measure, would eliminate private insurance and establish a statewide program to provide universal healthcare coverage, known as ColoradoCare, for all residents.
This is not the first time that Sanders has lent his power to the high-stakes fight, which has seen a corporate-funded opposition out-raise supporters nearly five-to-one with major donations from the insurance industry.
According to Boulder's Daily Camera, on Monday, Sanders did not shy away from calling out the industry-funded misinformation campaign being spread across the state.
"Lobbyists and special-interest groups will spend millions of dollars telling you why we shouldn't pass Amendment 69," Sanders said. "But what they won't tell you is that in Colorado people get sick and die because they don't go to the doctor because they don't have health insurance."
Recent polling has indicated that the opposition campaign may be taking hold, with only about 30 percent of surveyed voters voicing support for Amendment 69.
Sanders was joined on stage by state lawmakers and National Nurses United executive director Roseann DeMoro, who said that the Colorado ballot measure was a continuation of the Sanders campaign vision for political revolution, which included healthcare for all.
"Single payer was the cornerstone of Bernie Sanders' campaign, and Colorado has put it on the ballot," DeMoro told the crowd, adding that the "movement for Bernie is a movement for all of us. ColoradoCare continues that. His values are your values."
Indeed, Sanders urged his supporters, "Stand tall and vote yes on Amendment 69."
"In this moment in American history, in these difficult days," he continued, "the United States of America must join every other major country on Earth in guaranteeing health care."
The Boulder rally was held one day after Sanders spoke alongside Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in Denver at a campaign event in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.