Seeing legislative efforts fail, Aguilar is now taking her argument for universal health coverage to voters. A couple weeks ago, she and other supporters of ColoradoCare — a proposal to provide health coverage to all state residents — turned in more than 156,000 petition signatures to the secretary of state's office.
The Colorado Statesman, November 9, 2015
by Vic Vel
Like many progressives, Irene Aguilar once felt disheartened that President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act, didn't do more to reform the nation's broken health care system.
That was before she became a member of the Colorado Legislature.
“I was really disappointed in him until I spent one session in the General Assembly, at which point I was amazed by what he had accomplished,” Aguilar, a Denver Democrat and physician, said from the Senate well on April 12, 2013, near the end of her second year as a lawmaker.
Aguilar's remarks came just before she killed her own proposal to create a single-payer, universal health care system in Colorado. Although Democrats were in charge of both legislative chambers at the time, Aguilar knew she did not have the Republican votes needed to amend the state constitution in order to create the system.
This wasn't Aguilar's first disappointment working on universal health care coverage for Coloradans, an issue that has become her crusade.