Mass. Lawmakers OK Universal Health Initiative

Massachusetts senators and representatives voted 143-41 in a joint session to support a universal health care bill.

Advocates of the bill, H.B. 4444, want to amend the state constitution to require the state to make sure that all state residents have “affordable and equitably financed health insurance coverage for all medically necessary preventive, acute and chronic health care and mental health care services, prescription drugs and devices.”

If 50 or more lawmakers vote for H.B. 4444 in 2006, a universal health care question will appear on the state ballot in 2006, officials say.

Universal health advocates started the ballot initiative process by gathering more than 71,000 signatures supporting the proposed universal health care amendment. Sens. Steven Tolman, D-Boston, and Joan Menard, D-Somerset, Mass., rounded up support for the proposal once it reached the legislature. H.B. 4444 has attracted 52 cosponsors.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, July 16, 2004. Copyright 2004 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.