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Komen Colorado Takes a Stand on Amendment 72
This fall, Colorado voters will decide whether to support Amendment 72, a constitutional amendment to increase taxes on certain tobacco products. Susan G. Komen Colorado’s board of directors voted to support Amendment 72 because a portion of revenues would support for the Women’s Wellness Connection – a program to provide screening and diagnostic tests for breast and cervical cancer for eligible women.
Why does it matter?
Uninsured women, and those who have insurance but cannot afford out-of-pocket expenses for medically recommended screening and diagnostic tests are eligible to enroll in the Women’s Wellness Connection if they:
- Are 40-64 years old (for breast cancer care) or 21-64 years old (for cervical cancer care);
- Earn no more than $29,000 per year (1-person household; $60,750 for a 4-person household); and
- Meet state residency requirements.
Since its establishment in 1991, the Women’s Wellness Connection has served more than 67,000 Colorado women.
How is it a game changer?
Overall, Amendment 72 calls for revenues from the increased taxes to be used to:
- Increase funding for public health programs already receiving funds from the existing tobacco tax, including the Women’s Wellness Connection breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostics program;
- Increase funding for tobacco education, prevention and cessation programs;
- Fund tobacco-related research into cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, behavioral health, maternal health, and early childhood development;
- Support veterans’ programs that provide physical and behavioral health services, services to rural veterans, homelessness prevention, and employment transition services;
- Fund child and adolescent behavioral health care;
- Fund infrastructure improvement and investment for primary care and other community health clinics that provide care to financially and medically vulnerable communities; and
- Increase the healthcare workforce serving rural and medically underserved regions of the state through educational loan repayment programs.