Economic Study of Massachusetts Single Payer Bill

In November 2010, Mass-Care contracted with Professor Gerald Friedman of the Department of Economics at the ¬†University of Massachusetts-Amherst to estimate the costs and potential funding sources of Medicare for All in Massachusetts, which would establish access to health care as a human right for all residents of the state. The report also estimates the impact that a single payer system would have on families’ income and on employers’ health care costs.


  • A single payer system for Massachusetts would save 15.75% (or $9.7 billion) of our current health care spending – primarily in administrative waste.
  • Single payer would increase the income of the lowest income earning families by 15%, after replacing health premiums, co-pays, and deductibles with fair taxes.
  • 80% of families in the state would see large savings from single payer reform (amounting to more than 7% of their income) while families in the top 20% of earnings would see slightly increased costs (amounting to 3.1% of their income on average).
  • Workplaces currently spending 10% of their payroll on average towards health insurance premiums would instead pay a stable 10% payroll tax, divided between employers and employees as they choose.
  • Employers currently covering their workers would save 0.3% of payroll. Small employers (self-employed or less than 10 employees) would save 2.8% of payroll.