Fwd: Group wants health care reform measure off ballot
Mar 15, 2000 22:10 PST
from the Boston Herald, Wednesday March 15, 2000
Group wants health care reform measure off ballot
by Jennifer Heldt Powell
A coalition of business leaders and HMOs are gearing up for
campaign against a ballot initiative calling for universal
and radical changes to managed care.
The Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the
Association of HMOs and others have formed the Committee for
Affordable Health Care Choices to oppose the measure.
``The biggest problem is that it ends managed care as we
know it by
allowing members to choose any providers they want,'' said
president of AIM.
Networks are key tools that health maintenance
organizations use to
control costs, he said.
The ballot measure also would mandate universal health care
coverage in Massachusetts by July 1.
``But it doesn't provide any way to fund it,'' Lord said.
sounds to us like an empty promise.''
Lawmakers could kill the proposal or alter it, but
proponents could still
get it on the November ballot by collecting an additional
signatures. The group initially collected 71,121 signatures.
Proponents said they welcome the input of the business
and said the issues raised could be dealt with while the
While the bill doesn't spell out how to pay for universal
``the concern that it will raise costs is invalid,'' said
Paul K. Ling, a
psychologist and spokesman for the Coalition for Health
Care, which is
pushing the initiative. ``We gave a great deal of thought
up with a ballot initiative that wouldn't break the budget
A panel would be set up to develop a funding mechanism,
A team of health policy researchers at Brandeis University
the initiative for the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum.
covering potential costs, is expected to be released in