Single-payer backers say plan would rein in health costs

Sen. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover

Sen. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover

Eagle Tribune, April 2, 2016
by Christian M. Wade Statehouse Reporter

BOSTON -- Nearly a decade after Massachusetts started requiring every citizen to carry health insurance, advocates say they're building support to again transform health care in the state.

Nearly 40 of 200 lawmakers -- including some in legislative leadership -- have signaled support for proposals to create a single-payer health care system.

"While we've done a good job at insuring folks, we've not done a good job at containing costs," said Sen. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover, one of nine senators backing the idea. "We need to start the conversation on this."

L'Italien, a member of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing, said switching to some form of a single-payer system will curb the state's skyrocketing health care spending and free up money for other areas of the state budget.