Group pushes for single-payer health care system

Under a single-payer system, the government would cover all health care costs

By Tiffany Chan
22News - WWLP (Boston), Jan. 15, 2015

Health care isn’t just expensive for you; it’s costing the state billions of dollars each year. That’s why some state lawmakers are pushing for a single-payer system.

“Who can understand their hospital bill today? I can’t. We can get over that, get simple, get responsive and make sure health care works for the people,” said former gubernatorial candidate Dr. Donald Berwick.

Dr. Berwick met with state lawmakers to stress the need for change in the health care system,

arguing that the current system is far too expensive and complicated. Berwick hopes the state will move toward a single-payer health care system instead. Under a single-payer system, the government would cover all health care costs.

Advocates didn’t specify how the state would fund a single-payer system or how much it would cost, but say overall the measure would lower costs for families.

Ture Turnbull, executive director of MassCare said, “The cost to the state will be adjusted, but the actual individual, family and business will pay less in health care with a single-payer.”

It would to be quite awhile before Massachusetts could adopt a single-payer system.

Berwick says they’ll have to convince the public and state lawmakers that it’s a good idea, but he believes it’s possible: “It’s a big ask, but I think this state can do it and I’d love to see us be the model for the nation.”

Opponents of single payer are concerned with having a government-run health care system.

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