Our already sky-high and ever-escalating costs and state spending on healthcare will increase. Remember, it’s us taxpayers who will be the biggest payer for the new “state subsidies” to help limited-income folks buy insurance and it’s us who already are paying for the state portion of Medicaid insurance for the poor (and Medicaid was expanded quite a bit in Chap 58).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for helping to provide insurance coverage for everyone–I helped generate countless calls to the legislature throughout the winter and spring in support of the Medicaid expansions and restoration of previously cut Medicaid benefits (dental and eye care–they’re part of the body too, for heavens sake!) that are now part of Chap 58. It made sense to do because Medicaid exxpansions will help meet the immediate healthcare needs of many people. And because I knew that citizen activists like me and some advocacy groups were also working to pass the Health Care Constitutional Amendment.
We are finally undertaking this approach after being part of past failed reform efforts for decades. Yes, some incremental improvements were achieved but many didn’t last; the advocacy community has been fighting the same incremental battles over and over again and we’ve got more uninsured now than ever in Massachusetts. Looking at the big picture it’s kinda like giving your all to fight for a few crumbs. An effective way to keep advocacy groups and activists busy into eternity. No thanks.
At long last, many of us including health policy experts, lawyers, nurses, doctors, psychologists, social workers, students, labor activists, social justice activists, senior citizens, you name it…(well, maybe no HMO or Big Pharma Exec’s!) have smartened up and we aren’t gonna take it anymore. The Health Care Amendment we are fighting for–and believe me, it is a fierce and nasty fight as many things worth fighting for are–will establish a permanent Constitutional Guarantee to “ensure comprehensive, afforable and equitalby financed health insurance” for all state residents. And then our State Constitution will provide us–us being the people and our politicians who want to do the right thing–the legal and the political tools to undertake and actually achieve the systemic reforms that are needed.
The campaign is largely run on the blood, sweat and tears (especially after what went down in the ConCon on July 12th) of citizen activists, so please join us. We could really use the help. Sign up at http://www.HealthCareForMass.org