MassACT Decision Announced
Wednesday, July 5, 2006

The MassACT Ballot Initiative Campaign coalition announced today that we will not file the necessary signatures to the Secretary of State office for the November 2006 ballot.  This spring, our powerful and diverse coalition of labor unions, religious institutions, health care advocates, business leaders, civic organizations and consumers collected more than 25,000 signatures of the needed 11,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot. A combined 138,000 signatures were collected, in the fall and spring, all by volunteers.

The health reform law passed in April met the major goals of the MassACT campaign:

  • Expanded and affordable insurance coverage for the Massachusetts uninsured
  • Assistance for small businesses
  • Restored dental and eyeglass benefits for 600,000 poor adults on MassHealth
  • Fair payment for health care providers

The new health reform law is a significant and historic piece of legislation that sets out a plan to expand access to quality affordable health care for hundreds of thousands of residents across the state.

The organizations that make up MassACT are working hard to ensure full and fair implementation of this new law.

Rocio Saenz, President of SEIU Local 615, noted, “This coalition worked tirelessly to enact real health reform for people across Massachusetts .  This historic health reform law significantly expands health care coverage and achieves most of our objectives.  We will now focus on implementation and the establishment of fair standards.”  

“The lives of hundreds of thousands of real people will be improved by this new law” explained Reverend Hurmon Hamilton, Pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church in Boston and President of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization. “The 135,000 signatures, which qualified this measure for the ballot, demonstrate our power to get the job done. We move into the next phase with 135,000 residents poised to ensure implementation.”

John E. McDonough, Executive Director of Health Care For All, a non-profit advocacy group that is a member of the MassACT! Coalition, said, “The Coalition is remaining open for business.  We will be watching closely what decisions are made in every phase of the activation and rollout of the law.  We reserve the possibility of bringing back this ballot initiative to the voters if we find that unreasonable standards are put in place during the implementation phase.”  He went on to add, “It is very apparent that many of the voters of the Commonwealth share our belief that all residents of the state should have access to good health care, regardless of their economic or social status.

The MassACT! Coalition Leaders are:

  • Health Care for All
  • Greater Boston Interfaith Organization
  • Service Employees Union Local 615
  • Coalition for Social Justice
  • Neighbor to Neighbor
  • Massachusetts Building Trades Council
  • Service Employees Union Local 1199, United Health Care Workers East
  • United Food and Commercial Workers
  • Massachusetts Business Leaders for Quality Affordable Health Care
  • Families USA

For more information about MassACT, please contact Fawn Phelps at Health Care for All, phelps@hcfama.org or 617-275-2928.  

Leaders of the Initiative:

Philip J. Edmundson
Massachusetts Business Leaders for Quality Affordable Health Care

Zoila Torres Feldman

Executive Director of Great Brook Valley Health Center

Elmer R. Freeman
Director of Urban Health Initiatives, Northeastern University

Rev. Dr. Ray Hammond II
Pastor, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church

Charles E. Joffe-Halpern

Chairman, Health Care For All

John E. McDonough
Executive Director, Health Care For All

Congressman James P. McGovern

U.S. House of Representatives

Senator Mark C. Montigny

Massachusetts State Senate

Rabbi Jonah D. Pesner
Temple Israel

Arcelia R. Saenz
President, SEIU Local 615

Philippe Villers
President, Families USA

Cecilia A. Wcislo
President, SEIU Local 2020

Dr. Barry Zuckerman
Boston Medical Center