A new campaign ad focuses on the idea that Colorado’s universal health care amendment is too big for its own good.

The 30-second spot by Coloradans for Coloradans reuses claims from its first ad that Amendment 69 would raise taxes by $25 billion and double the size of state government.

But it also makes a new assertion: ColoradoCare, the entity created by the proposed constitutional amendment, would be larger than Nike, McDonald’s and Starbucks.

That sounded surprising, so we decided to check.

CLAIM: ColoradoCare would be bigger than Nike, McDonald’s and Starbucks
VERDICT: True / needs context

The ad might lead a viewer to believe that the $25 billion in new taxes raised by Amendment 69 would be larger than these well-known companies, which is actually smaller than Nike and McDonalds.

But the claim about the program’s size is actually true because the new income taxes aren’t the only source of funding ColoradoCare would use. It would also rely on billions in federal and state government spending that currently goes to healthcare in Colorado.

The state’s official analysis concludes that the program would receive up to $36.2 billion in total revenue, a figure mirrored by an independent study of the program’s finances.

So how does that compare to the revenue (also referred to as “net sales”) for the companies in the ad?

  • $36.2 billion – ColoradoCare estimated total revenue
  • $32.5 billion – Nike
  • $25.4 billion – McDonald’s
  • $19.1 billion – Starbucks

It’s also worth noting (as we’ve pointed out before) that there’s a very simple reason for the large size of this program: it’s already how much healthcare costs in Colorado.

BOTTOM LINE: This claim about the size of ColoradoCare is factual, but it’s also necessary that such a program be this size due to the cost of healthcare.

The question for voters is whether they want to replace most of Colorado’s health insurance with a single program run by the state.