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April 13, 2005

Health Care: Great Expectations

Well, we heard that health care expansion in MA was coming down the pike. First the Guvnah tried to get out in front of the issue, then Travaglini held forth with a slightly less modest proposal. It's easy to look at the current scenario, and imagine that like an election, you basically have two choices, and most likely they'll meet in the middle someplace. What'll you have, Trav-care or Mitt-care? One or the other, just take one, please. Right?

Wrong.

At a meeting of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) last night (which I attended), Rabbi Jonah Pesner made the point that this is not a "Political" issue, therefore to be left up to the pols -- it's a moral issue. The limits of what passes for "conventional wisdom" and "political reality" on this issue have absolutely nothing to do with the facts on the ground for those who lack insurance.

The final word has not been spoken on this issue, and we do not have to choose between two inadequate plans that leave huge groups of people vulnerable and uninsured. Let the politicians make their calculations, but our job as voters is to demand that they do the right thing. Everyone should be able to go to a doctor when they get sick. Everyone.

Now, GBIO is part of a larger coalition, the MA Health Reform Coalition, which is supporting  third, more comprehensive plan: the Health Care Access and Affordability Act (HD#2569, SD #806). GBIO has put together a helpful comparison of the three plans, which I've uploaded here. (FYI: Federal Poverty Guidelines are $9,310 for an individual and $18,850 for a family of four.)

So when the Governor says this:

"['Commonwealth Care' is] one step to getting all the citizens of the Commonwealth insured. That's our goal -- we can get it done. It's going to take several years to reach that objective, but it's an objective that's accomplishable and real," he said.

... let's keep in mind that we will determine just what is "accomplishable and real", and when. And it's going to be a heck of a lot better than what the Governor and Senate President currently imagine. Stay tuned.

Posted by Charley on the MTA at 11:59 PM in Massachusetts | Permalink

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Health Care For All is coordinating the coalition working for the comprehensive health reform proposal discussed at the GBIO meeting. We are busy setting up grassroots activity, lobbying, policy research, etc.
People who want to get involved should check our web page at www.hcfama.org/reform

Posted by: Brian | Apr 15, 2005 1:14:40 PM

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