Single Payer Ballot Questions Pass in All Fourteen Massachusetts Districts!

From Mass-Care.

Massachusetts voters have, for the second straight election, overwhelmingly affirmed their support for single payer health reform by turning in majority ‘Yes’ votes in all fourteen districts where local single payer ballot questions appeared on November 2. The ballots spanned 80 different cities and towns in a state of 351 municipalities, winning in every city and town reporting results so far except two. Five of the districts backing single payer reform voted for Scott Brown in last year’s special senate election, which was largely seen as a referendum on national health reform, showing that the goal of improved and expanded Medicare for All is supported by a diverse range of communities across the state. It is also striking that in a year of political change, and in a year of drawn-out economic suffering, residents recognize that single payer health reform offers the promise of a more just and humanitarian health care system, which would actually cost us less as a society and lift the burden of sky-rocketing health costs from thousands of households, employers, and taxpayers.

Similar local referendum questions passed overwhelmingly in ten representative districts in 2008, and we look forward to building momentum for the state’s single payer bill even further this coming legislative session, which begins in January 2011.

Mass-Care wants to extend congratulations to all of the hard-working volunteers who collected signatures to put these questions on the ballot, got the word out to their local media, worked on public education with community organizations in their districts, and spoke one-on-one with residents of the district on the streets, holding signs, and standing outside of polling places.

Mass-Care also wants to extend its congratulations to the Vermont single payer movement. Peter Shumlin was elected Governor of Vermont running on a single payer platform. This is incredibly exciting as the Vermont legislature recently commissioned Dr. William Hsiao, the designer of Taiwan’s single payer health care system, to draft an implementation and impact study for a potential single payer plan in Vermont.

Not every precinct has yet reported results to the state, but we include partial results in a table here. Official results for every district will be posted on the Boston Globe web-site and on this page when they become available.


  1. John Haydn-Jones on November 8, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Hail New England from Olde England! It is truly exciting to see that Vermont and Mass have a groundswell of sanity and compassion at their cores, rather than the fear-based histrionic rantings of the greedy and self-obsessed Tea Partiers. I write from London, where we enjoy a less than perfect but morally and philosophically sound system of state-funded universal health care. There are many around the world who envy the standard of living in America but are absolutely aghast that the world’s richest nation does not have the most basic political will to ensure that EVERY citizen, regardless of socio-economic position, or employment, has access to health care. One quote from an incredulous friend, ‘You mean you have to PAY to have a baby in America?!’ Such an imposition would be considered ludicrous here. It is a painful irony that many radical-right politicians consider themselves Christian yet take on the most cruel anti-Christian stance in not wanting a collective approach to taking care of the most weak and vulnerable. We wish Americans wellness and the dream of a kinder nation to come to fruition during this period of reflection after your mid-term elections.

    • Melissa on November 8, 2010 at 7:29 pm

      “It is a painful irony that many radical-right politicians consider themselves Christian yet take on the most cruel anti-Christian stance in not wanting a collective approach to taking care of the most weak and vulnerable.” – So True. Many, not all, Americans are so selfish, greedy, and ignorant that they don’t care that their fellow Americans are dying and going bankrupt because they can’t afford healthcare. Be glad you’re in England because the USA is a “me” first country where selfishness and arrogance is the new patriotism. But at least there is hope in Massachusetts and Vermont.

  2. John Barker on November 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    I just listened to the PBS news hour report by Betty Ann Bouser (Bouser probably mispelled). Her glowing report suggested that Massachusetts health care reform, on which the Federal health care reform bill is modeled, was supported by most people in Massachusetts, they were happy with it, and most people in Mass. are now insured. They did mention that costs were not under control but after all that was not the goal of Mass. health care reform, the goal was universal coverage. If the people of Massachusetts passed single payer in all 14 districts how can Bouser’s glowing report on Massachusetts healthcare reform be true???? I assume that the results reported above are correct and that single payer was approved in 14 districts. But of course, I am biased and have my head in the sand or does Betty Ann Bouser have her head in the sand? Which is Which?

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