The Most Important Game of the Year (and an Invitation to the Pep Rally)

It’s not the Super Bowl. It’s not the 7th game of the World Series. And it’s not the final curling match of the Olympics. It’s beating the American healthcare industry at its own game.

When your team wins the big game, fans earn bragging rights. For the athletes, it might mean bonuses and endorsements. In our game, the stakes are much, much higher. There is one trillion dollars a year at stake. That’s about how much we waste on healthcare spending in the United States. That’s more than $3,000 for every man, woman and child. It’s bigger than any stimulus plan. It’s bigger than any tax cut. It’s bigger than the typical wage earner’s annual raise. The healthcare industry wants it, but we’re not going to let them have it. We’re going to take our money back and spend it more wisely. That’s the game—and we’re going to win it.

There’s nothing we can do for our economy that would be more powerful than shifting one trillion dollars a year into infrastructure spending on roads, bridges and schools. We don’t need more hospitals. We certainly don’t need an emergency room on every corner. That’s why it’s so bizarre that the U.S. Congress won’t deal with the issue. It’s equally as frustrating to see state legislatures fail to act. They all want to invest in infrastructure. Democrats and Republicans are united on the need for infrastructure repair. They just can’t agree about how to pay for it. Yet, the answer is right in front of them.

We’re playing against a weak team, but a wealthy one. It’s like being at the casino holding a full house, knowing the guy sitting across the table has nothing. Except he just raised you one billion dollars. Do you fold or show your cards? I say, “All in!” We play to win!

To be “All in,” we all need to be in the game. We need to raise a lot more money. Yet, I’m not asking you to donate a penny. Instead, I want you to invest. According to Federal Government estimates, healthcare spending is set to increase by $160 billion in 2018. That’s another $500 for every man, woman and child. The return on your investment has never been better. Even before eliminating all of the waste, if all we can do is restrain the growth in healthcare spending to the rate of GDP growth, we’ll save $100 to $200 per person. But that’s conservative. The savings will be much greater, especially in Colorado, where we are over-spending the national by 17%.

When you consider that healthcare spending is going up by $500 for every member of your family this year, isn’t that worth a small investment of $10 per family member. If you run a company and worry about your rising healthcare costs, isn’t it worth investing $10 for each employee you cover? We start collecting signatures in April. Now is the time to make your investment.

And if you’d like to get even more involved, we’re having a gathering in the early evening of March 13th in Downtown Denver. Send me back an email if you’d like to be invited. We have former Denver Bronco and healthcare advocate Reggie Rivers as MC for the evening. Andrew Graham, my partner on the ballot measure, will be with us. So will many volunteers and supporters. If you intend to collect signatures, we’ll spend a few minutes covering the basics. And we’ll all have fun. This is our first pep rally before the big game begins. I hope you’ll join us.

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