The Free Our Health Care Rally started at noon Tuesday at the west steps of the State Capitol building.
Organizers, including Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute, say they are working on a ballot initiative aimed at amending the state's constitution to exempt Colorado from Obama's health care initiative. The initiative is similar to one on the ballot in Arizona and is being proposed in about 10 other states, according to an article in the Denver Post. It gives citizens the "right of health care choice," the Post wrote.
"We need to send a very strong and unified message to lawmakers that while we want them to say yes to defending Colorado, we are also ready, willing and able to move forward with the citizen initiative process should the legislature fail us," the Independence Institute's Web site said.
The Post continued, saying under the proposal, neither the state nor federal government could mandate that someone purchase an insurance product or participate in any public or private health care plan or benefit. It also allows cross-state purchasing of insurance coverage.
"It's amazing that the federal government doesn't force me to buy home insurance, doesn't force me to buy life insurance or catastrophic insurance or an umbrella policy," Caldara told the Post in an interview last week, "yet of my own wisdom I purchase these things."
When asked by the Post about auto insurance, which is mandatory, Caldara noted that plenty of Coloradans break that law.
ProgressNow's Executive Director Bobby Clark opposes the initiative.
"This initiative is about politics, plain and simple. The health industry corporate lobby is pushing these initiatives in as many as 29 states using people like Jon Caldara," Clark said in a news release.
"One-quarter of Coloradans don't have health insurance, and the rest of us are getting crushed by premiums that increase 15 percent to 25 percent every year," he continued. "But Jon Caldara, Rush Limbaugh, Jane Norton, Scott McInnis, and the rest of the Right Wing seem to care more about a political victory than the people of Colorado."
Speakers at the rally include Caldara, Rep. Cindy Acree (R-Aurora), Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Monument), local neurosurgeon Dr. Sanat Dixit and conservative radio personality Jeff Crank.
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