The Need for Comprehensive Health Reform:
More than 532,000 Massachusetts residents have no health insurance. During the past five years, health insurance premiums have been rising at double digit rates. Private employers and local governments face difficulties paying for health insurance for their workers. Moreover, hospitals, health centers, physicians and other providers receive low reimbursement from the state, shifting costs to private insurance premiums. The time for comprehensive health reform is now!
The MassACT! Ballot Initiative Campaign:
This fall, the MassACT ballot initiative campaign showed our legislators that Massachusetts residents demand affordable access to health care. In less than 2 months, 2000 volunteers from across the Commonwealth collected over 112,000 signatures in support of our comprehensive health reform proposal, the Massachusetts Quality Affordable Health Care Act . The overwhelming success of our signature drive significantly impacted the passage of comprehensive health care legislation in April 2006. The new law includes significant expansions in access to care for hundreds of thousands of people across the Commonwealth.
Key Components of the Ballot Initiative: Massachusetts Quality Affordable Health Care Act:
- Covers our children and most vulnerable residents - expanding the affordable MassHealth program.
- Increases quality affordable coverage - providing sliding-scale assistance to moderate-income families struggling to afford health care costs.
- Helps small businesses provide coverage - expanding the Insurance Partnership program and establishing a reinsurance program to reduce premiums.
- Makes our health system fair - funding expanded coverage through an affordable assessment on firms that refuse to provide coverage to their workers.
- Lowers health costs and improves health- increasing the cigarette tax by 60 cents to reduce smoking and to fund affordable coverage.
- Reduces premiums - ending the insurance surcharge now tacked onto premiums to pay for uninsured patients who get care in emergency rooms and other sites.
The new health reform law is a significant victory for expanding access to quality affordable health care. But our work is not done! We must continue to work to ensure that the new law is implemented fairly and that access to quality affordable health insurance is a reality for all residents of the Commonwealth. Therefore, MassACT will collect 20,000 signatures between May 17 th and June 19 th to ensure that this recent health care legislation is not undermined in anyway. Please join us in this effort to ensure access to quality affordable health care for everyone in our commonwealth.
For more information contact Lisa Vinikoor at 617-275-2807 or Vinikoor@massact.org
|Read the Section-by-Section Summary (PDF)
Read the full text of the ballot initiative (PDF)