Universal Healthcare on the Ballot

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Managed care is suddenly in intensive care, in danger of dying, in the state that was supposed to have tamed the healthcare monster–the state that spends more on medicine, gets better results, trains more doctors, says “we’re number one” in healthcare, and we’re still militantly unhappy. By a 2-to-1 margin, a patients’ and doctors’ rebellion is threatening to pass a ballot initiative in Massachusetts that would un-manage care by restoring free choice of specialists, putting a 10 percent cap on the non-medical overhead of HMOs.

It would ban for-profit managed-care companies. And it would demand universal health coverage by the year 2002. To Al Gore, George W. Bush, and all the established powers in Massachusetts: a vote for Question 5 says: prescription coverage under Medicare is tokenism; a patient bill-of-rights is a placebo; incremental improvement won’t do. Who’s willing to take a chance on a healthcare revolution, this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


David Himmelstein, M.D., General Practitioner at Cambridge Hospital, one of the leaders for Physicians for National Health