Where the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate stand on key Colorado issues ahead of primary

Rivals John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff are offering distinct choices for voters ahead of the June 30 election




Background: Both Democratic candidates favor universal health care coverage but differ on how to accomplish the goal. In Colorado, about 93.5% of people have health insurance coverage, a recent survey found, but the number of people who are uninsured is rising at the national level. The reason is mostly the cost of insurance. At the state level, a bill to create a public option died in the legislature in 2020 and a government single-payer failed at the ballot in 2016.


Favors public option

A: Hickenlooper is promoting “an evolution, not a revolution” when it comes to health care. He favors a public option that would compete against private plans on the insurance marketplace rather than a single-payer system such as “Medicare for All.” He has said such a plan needs to lower health care costs and work within the Affordable Care Act, but did not provide additional details on how it would work. As governor, he signed legislation to expand government-run Medicaid coverage to low-income residents.




Supports single-payer, government plan at federal level

A: Romanoff supports Medicare for All, a system that would make government the single payer of health care costs. The coverage would include mental health and substance use treatment, prescription drugs, vision, dental, hearing, maternity and long-term care. Romanoff has not discussed how he would pay for the plan, which would cost about $30 trillion, but a plan put forward by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would make employees and employers pay the bulk of the cost and include increased taxes to cover the most of the remainder.



The Candidates

Click a candidate to see where they stand.


John Hickenlooper

John Hickenlooper

Former Colorado governor and Denver mayor   

Andrew Romanoff

Andrew Romanoff

Former state House speaker and director Mental Health Colorado