Access to Treatment Options
The first big vote I took in the House, in 2006, was for the Massachusetts universal health care bill which has become a model for our national legislation. I took that vote with qualms – about insufficient controls on rising costs, and about the plight of those earning just a bit too much for subsidized health plans, and feeling squeezed by costs. I knew there would be “bugs” to work out.
The success of our health care law is demonstrated by the fact that 96% of our population has health care coverage, and there are many indicators of quality improvement. Its shortcomings are also evident: out of pocket costs for insurance and health plan subscribers continue to rise, as does overall health care spending. Insurance companies, rather than doctors, tend to dictate a patient’s options, and often do not cover beneficial treatments, or do much to prevent disease and encourage wellness.
I strongly support the adoption of a universal, single payer health care system. I supported such a system before I voted to adopt our universal health care bill. I continue to think of our current, highly flawed, universal health care system as an intermediate step on the way to a unified, single payer system.