Single Payer Ballot Questions Pass in All Fourteen Massachusetts Districts!

Massachusetts voters have, for the second straight election, overwhelmingly affirmed their support for single payer health reform by turning in majority ‘Yes’ votes in all fourteen districts where local single payer ballot questions appeared on November 2. The ballots spanned 80 different cities and towns in a state of 351 municipalities, winning in every city and town except two. Five of the districts backing single payer reform voted for Scott Brown in last year’s special senate election, which was largely seen as a referendum on national health reform, showing that the goal of improved and expanded Medicare for All is supported by a diverse range of communities across the state. It is also striking that in a year of political change, and in a year of drawn-out economic suffering, residents recognize that single payer health reform offers the promise of a more just and humanitarian health care system, which would actually cost us less as a society and lift the burden of sky-rocketing health costs from thousands of households, employers, and taxpayers.

Similar local referendum questions passed overwhelmingly in ten representative districts in 2008, and we look forward to building momentum for the state’s single payer bill even further this coming legislative session, which begins in January 2011.

Mass-Care also wants to extend its congratulations to the Vermont single payer movement. Peter Shumlin was elected Governor of Vermont running on a single payer platform. This is incredibly exciting as the Vermont legislature recently commissioned Dr. William Hsiao, the designer of Taiwan’s single payer health care system, to draft an implementation and impact study for a potential single payer plan in Vermont.

Below are the final results reported by the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Elections Division.

District No Yes Yes %
2nd Berkshire 4302 9823 69.5%
4th Berkshire 3,556 9,459 72.7%
1st Franklin 4,584 11,990 72.3%
8th Hampden 4,058 5,846 59.0%
4th Middlesex 6,332 7,420 54.0%
13th Middlesex 6,688 9,065 57.5%
14th Middlesex 7,167 10,225 58.8%
29th Middlesex 3,894 9,209 70.3%
5th Norfolk 6,922 7,829 53.1%
11th Norfolk 7,625 8,496 52.7%
12th Norfolk 7,005 7,816 52.7%
11th Suffolk 2,890 6,363 68.8%
15th Suffolk 2,686 8,569 76.1%
13th Worcester 5,246 7,165 57.7%
Total 72,955 119,275 62.0%