Tucked inside the health care bill passed by the state Senate is a provision to study the possibility of a single-payer health care system.
The bill’s cost control measures are getting all the attention. From the Globe:
The 100-page bill attempts to help struggling community hospitals by setting a floor for the reimbursements they receive from insurers. It also sets a benchmark for annual growth in hospital spending, estimated at 2.7 percent. If the hospital industry exceeds that benchmark, some hospitals would have to pay hefty penalties.
But MassCare, the state’s single-payer advocacy group, says the proposed study creates “a real path in the near future to create a Single Payer system for the Commonwealth!” They’re headed up to the State House this week to lobby House members.
These folks are in if for the long haul, which, according to political scientist James Munroe of Brown University, is the way to go on single-payer. Writing in the a recent NEMJ, he says:
It is a policy proposal designed to improve health care delivery, an ambitious claim about equality and social justice, and an effort to usher in a more progressive era in American politics. Each is a long shot, but Medicare for All and its advocates stand in a venerable reform tradition that has rewritten U.S. politics many times in the past. It would be a mistake to dismiss them now.