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August 23, 2005

Here comes the Sun

The Lowell Sun sheds some, uh, light on the two forward-thinking health care proposals. It's fairly clear and concise, and eyeball-glazing is minimal. It addresses the proposed constitutional amendment for universal health care:

The Legislature would be required to “enact and implement such laws as will ensure that no Massachusetts resident lacks comprehensive, affordable, and equitably financed health insurance” for all “medically necessary” services, according to the question.

They also discuss the ballot initiative for the Health Access and Affordability Act ("HA3") (which the Sun strangely re-named the "Massachusetts Quality Affordable Health Care Act"... am I missing something?). UPDATE: Cape Ann Dem's Patrick Abegg points out that the new title is for the ballot initiative, not the bill before the legislature, which is still "HA3". Thanks for the clarification.

Now we're really getting somewhere!

In a must-read post, Lynne at Left in Lowell absolutely knocks this one out of the park. She crushes arguments that a single-payer system would be more expensive, and makes this critical point:

... The “Yugo” plans that Romney and Travaglini have put forward [are] hardly better than being uninsured, because many people will still have to forgo crucial care when it is not covered. That you save money for the government in the long run by preventative care and other non-Yugo benefits seems not to penetrate these people’s skulls. You can’t say “certainly that would include preventative, basic, safety-net care” but support Romney’s plan. [my emphasis]

Lynne also lays out the economic competitiveness argument:

And hey, we’re already driving businesses out of the state in droves, partly because of our high cost of living. If we move to a lower cost-per-person state-run single payer government plan (and trust me, it will be lower cost and way more efficient), suddenly Massachusetts is a competitive place to do business again. For a lot less than private coverage costs in other states, businesses will be able to insure their workers.

In other words, we'll be more attractive to those businesses that already insure their employees. This is good.

Read both the Sun article and Lynne's post and be a BMG Ranger™ for the day! (I don't know what being a BMG Ranger™ means... I'll think of something.)


Posted by Charley on the MTA at 07:30 PM in Massachusetts | Permalink


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I was wondering about the name thing...I read through some of MassACT!'s web releases, HCFA's website, and the Globe's articles, and couldn't find that name anywhere. I almost mentioned it, so then I thought, maybe HCFA changed the name at the last minute before sending the initiative to the first ballot procedure.

Eh, I should send them another letter chastising them for the name change, but I already sent one complimenting them on the article.

Posted by: Lynne | Aug 23, 2005 7:40:30 PM

On the confusion...

HA3 is the name of the legislation currently in front of the legislature.

The new name goes to the four versions of the initiative petition filed with the AG.

See all of the petitions at

Posted by: Patrick Abegg | Aug 23, 2005 10:26:34 PM

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