The Constitutional Amendment for Affordable Health
WHAT THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT WOULD DO
- Ensure that every Massachusetts resident would have access to the
health care they need when they need it.
- Require the Legislature and Governor to enact laws that made sure
every Massachusetts resident has affordable, comprehensive and fairly
financed health insurance.
- Cover medically necessary health and mental health services including
prescription medications and supplies.
WHAT IT WOULD NOT DO
- Require that the state become the insurer.
- Specify any particular mechanism, public or private, for financing
- Involve the courts in micromanaging our health care system.
- Massachusetts has over 600,000 residentsmost of whom work or
are members of working familieswithout insurance, who are often
unable to get the care they need, and who suffer needlessly as a result.
- Skyrocketing health care costs threaten those with insurance as the
state tries to balance the budget and employers, faced with higher premiums,
are forced to raise employee contributions or cut health benefits.
- Providers, including doctors, home health care agencies, hospitals
and nursing homes are feeling the funding crunch from reimbursement
cuts and increased paperwork requirements. Some have closed; many more
are running in the red.
- Despite decades of debate, there has been no meaningful action.
- Every state resident should have affordable health insurance so they
can get medically necessary care, medications and supplies in a timely
- Every resident should have access to high quality care to guarantee
the best possible health outcomes and the best use of our health care
- Health insurance should be affordable and fairly financed to ensure
access and an end to wasteful and unfair cost shifting.
- Rising costs must be contained.
- Expanded coverage can be financed through administrative streamlining
and access to high quality, cost-effective care for all Massachusetts
- We don't need more money; we need to be smarter about how we spend
our health care dollars.
- Medical research and innovation that ensures quality care, cost-effective
care and which is a major driver of economic growth must be promoted
- Fall, 2003: Collected 71,385 certified signatures from enthusiastic
Massachusetts voters requesting that this citizen initiative be put
before the Legislature for its consideration.
- July, 2004: Got the 25% approval of the 2003-2004 Constitutional Convention
by a vote of 153-41 - over three times the number of votes needed (50)
to refer the Amendment to the next Constitutional Convention.
- 2005-2006: Need approval by 25% of the 2005-2006 Constitutional Convention
- requires at least 50 legislators to vote YES.
- November 2006: Ratification requires a majority of voters to vote
in favor of the Amendment on the ballot.