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ISSUE: Health Care

Health Care
Some Key Points


– Health care is now priced beyond the reach of many Americans.

– The number of people without health insurance is too high and is increasing. Over 400,000 people in Massachusetts lack coverage.

– Reliance on health insurance supplied by employers means that insurance can be lost when a worker is laid off or changes employers. Many workers feel forced to stay in bad jobs just to maintain health insurance coverage.

– In Massachusetts, over 39% of our health care dollar is spent on overhead instead of care. Our fragmented, multi-payer system chews up billions of dollars in the billing process.

– Americans are paying two or three times more for pharmaceuticals than consumers in other countries.

– Hospitals, nursing homes, and health centers are going bankrupt. The financing system for our medical infrastructure is in crisis.

– The quality of our health care is not what it could, and should, be. Hospitals are understaffed, physicians and nurses are overworked, and medical errors and professional shortages are two alarming results.


– Make a commitment to provide health care for everyone. Access to basic care should not depend on which job you hold or how much money you have in the bank.

– Remove financial incentives for undercare or overcare. Let caregivers concentrate on what is best for patients, not what generates profits.

– Get pharmaceutical costs under control by bringing the purchasing power of government into the market on the side of consumers. There must be an end to government helping drug companies fleece sick people.

– Implement a single-payer system that cuts paperwork and puts good care above corporate profits. The goal of health care should be to help sick people, prevent illness, and promote health and well being– not to make money from people’s illness and suffering.
Publications and Reports

Better Ways to Fund Vital Services
MCHC Publication A02.1 [pdf]
This report suggests how the tax code can be revised to provide over $2 billion in additional revenues while moving toward greater fairness.

News and Views
Take Action!
A broad coalition of health care advocates are joining together to work for a consitutional amendment that would require affordable health care to be made available to all citizens of Massachusetts. The first step is to collect voter signatures to put the issue on the ballot in 2006. To find out how to help, go to the website of The Committee for Health Care for Massachusetts. Or contact Headquarters for the Constitutional Amendment for Health Care Campaign, 649 Mass. Ave., Cambridge 02139, Tel. 617-868-1280

Demand an end to the slashing of health programs
Did your legislator vote for fair revenue measures that would avoid severe budget cuts? If not, ask why.

Support Health Care Reform in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Health Care Trust Fund can bring about universal health care in Massachusetts. Tell your legislators to pass it!

Support safe staffing
Nurse-to-patient ratios have dropped to dangerous levels. Nurses are reporting that understaffing is resulting in medication errors, poor care, and even deaths. Legislation requiring safe staffing has been introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature.

Links for More Information

Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Health Care

Committee for Health Care for Massachusetts
Working for a constitutional amendment requiring universal health care in Massachusetts.

Eliminating Health Disparities
American Medical Students Assoc.

BU School of Public Health
Access and Affordability Monitoring Project (Reports and studies on health care reform.)

Caring Commonwealth

Everybody In, Noboby Out

The Massachusetts Campaign for Single-Payer Health Care

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill

Physicians for a National Health Program

Universal Health Care Action Network


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