Nine members of FCCPR’s Single Payer Healthcare Task Force traveled to the State House in Boston November 14 to join about 200 other activists for the Right to Health Lobby Day. The coalition included nurses, doctors and social workers as well as progressive community groups.
We attended a rally on the Grand Staircase and heard from a number of speakers including the sponsors of the bills, Senator James Eldridge; Senator Julian Cyr; Representative Barbara L’italian; and Representative Denise Garlick. The final keynote speaker was Don Berwick, former head of Medicare and Medicaid and a past candidate for Governor in Massachusetts.
Berwick stressed the dangers that our country faces if it no longer providing a safe nation for immigrants and those in need. He stressed that we should support health care for all as a moral duty to the values of our country as expressed in the poem by Emma Lazarus and Abraham Lincoln.
We then visited and had meetings in the offices of Representative Paul Mark, Representative Stephen Kulik and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. We introduced ourselves as members of FCCPR.
The week before the rally, the Senate had approved an amendment to the big Health Care Bill that includes the Benchmark Bill – which mandates a cost comparison study of Single Payer vs the current complicated payment system for health care.
If the comparison shows that Single Payer would less costly, then the Single Payer – Medicare for All bill would be considered by the whole legislature. Now it’s up to the House to consider this amendment when they reconvene in January.