AN OPEN LETTER TO SINGLE PAYER ADVOCATES AND OUR ALLIES
Dear Single Payer Advocate,
Mass-Care recently became aware of Rep. Kate Hogan’s bill (HD3448) that proposes a special commission to study “the methods, cost and feasibility of establishing single payer health care in the commonwealth.” While we heartily support the gathering of reliable data and policy information to inform the discussion of a Single Payer plan for our state, we are dismayed by the approach taken in HD3448.
The commission proposed in HD3448 appears to be dramatically biased against Single Payer. Several members are direct or indirect appointees of the Governor, the former CEO of insurance giant Harvard Pilgrim and who opposes Single Payer. The commission also includes representatives of two powerful corporate lobbies representing the private insurance industry: Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, the largest private insurer in the state, and the Mass. Association of Health Plans. Both of these organizations have an overwhelming financial interest in seeing that Single Payer policy is not advanced. Six members of the commission would be appointees of the leadership of the House and Senate, including the co-chairs of the Health Care Financing Committee. This is the committee that has prevented the advance of Medicare for All bills for many years. The only public advocacy group represented on the commission would be Health Care for All, an organization that receives significant funding from the healthcare industry. While they work extensively to expand access to care under the current system, they are very limited in their ability to advocate for any cost- control legislation, including Single Payer
So we ask: Who would represent the interests of the people of Mass. not beholden to Beacon Hill or corporate interests? Why is there no place at the table for those representing direct care providers, low-income folks, people with chronic illnesses or disability, senior citizens? Why is there a representative for employers but not for working people? Why are there no representatives of organizations that advocate for Single Payer?
As interest in a Single Payer system surges in Massachusetts, we ask that our supporters and allies reject HD3448 and ask your legislators to oppose this biased bill. Instead, join with us to continue strengthening the movement for Medicare for All and gathering reliable, independent, expert information to help guide the development of a Single Payer system in Mass. that will benefit us all.
Yours in solidarity,