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!