Single Payer Amendment Narrowly Defeated in Mass.

From Benjamin Day, Executive Director of Mass-Care

This Tuesday, after an hour and a half floor debate, the Massachusetts Senate narrowly voted down a single payer amendment to a broader cost control bill, on a 15 to 22 vote. The amendment would have instructed the state to, every year, measure our actual health care spending against what we would be spending under a comprehensive single payer plan, and if this ‘single payer benchmark’ by fiscal year 2015 proved more cost-effective than our current system, the state would be instructed to draft a single payer implementation plan for approval by the legislature.

Amendments opposed by Senate leadership rarely receive this level of support, so please thank the courageous Senators who voted ‘yes’ on Amendment #125. Just as important, a broad range of grassroots organizations made calls and asked their members to call their Senators to support this effort – it was an unprecedented mobilization for single payer, with less than a week’s notice from the time the Senate introduced their bill.

Click here to visit Mass-Care’s web-site where you can download the language of the amendment, see a complete list of Senators voting for and against, and video footage of every Senator who spoke to the amendment. I find it incredibly uplifting that we have come so close to setting Massachusetts on a path towards single payer health reform – we are just a few votes away! Let’s keep organizing this year!


  1. Usha A on June 8, 2012 at 9:24 am

    What are these Single Payer opponents afraid of?

    • Laura on June 9, 2012 at 12:19 am

      They are afraid of losing their campaign money that they receive from BIG INSURANCE!

  2. spktruth200 on June 8, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Singlepayer health care system was proposed in Mass while Robme was gov.It lost by one vote and Mass got Robme care. When democrats propsed the same bill for all americans the right wing and their corporate supporters railed about it. It was the repuke party who pushed for the individual mandate, which now they claim they dont support. I could care less what the radical right wing court does, because states are going to have to go to single payer (and join the rest of the civilized nations of the world Millionaire CEOS, shareholders and advertising are eating away at the taxpayer money while they spend 45cents out of every dollar for Non medical isses like CEO’s.

  3. James on June 8, 2012 at 10:17 am

    @Usha…they are afraid of losing all the money they get from the insurance companies!!!

  4. Chrigid on June 8, 2012 at 10:30 am

    That amendment should be before every legislature in the United States.

  5. Jim on June 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Rationally, this just blows my mind – that people in a state like Massachusetts would not support such a common sense fiscal assessment of their relatively new and very expensive healthcare system. Understanding reality however – that nearly everything in the U.S. is controlled by a ruling oligarchy of entrenched interests – this comes as no surprise.

  6. Frank Hill on June 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    59% to 41% can hardly be considered a narrow vote.

  7. Art As Social Inquiry on June 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    The unsustainablitly of our current system is starting to become evident to the American public. When critical mass is reached,the whole for-profit model will tumble like the Berlin Wall. There’s only so much cost shifting the public can bear. And high deductible plans may just push us over the edge especially if obamacare is struck down by te Supreme Court.

    Once the American public snaps, single payer will make its way into the national psyche.

  8. Bruce on June 12, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Does anyone know if the cost comparison study will still be done? I support single payer and would like to have this data to beat the opposition over the head with.