Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Health Initiative: Give Don't Take

Tired of all those reactive ballot initiatives that want to take something away? Well then, starting this Friday, you can circulate and sign one that helps.

MassACT! will have 12 days from September 23rd to gather enough signatures to put real health-care reform on the ballot November 2006. It is aiming for 100,000.

The Massachusetts Affordable Care campaign is from a broad coalition of medical, family, union civic, and business groups. They are working for a health-care act that, as they put it:
  • Reduces premiums - ending the insurance surcharge now tacked onto premiums to pay for uninsured
  • patients who get care in emergency rooms and other sites.
  • Increases quality affordable coverage - providing sliding-scale assistance to moderate-incomefamilies struggling to afford health care costs.
  • Helps small businesses provide coverage - expanding the Insurance Partnership program and establishing a reinsurance program to reduce premiums.
  • Makes our health system fair - funding expanded coverage through an affordable assessment on firms that refuse to provide coverage to their workers.
  • Covers our children and most vulnerable residents - expanding the affordable MassHealth program.
  • Lowers health costs and improves health - increasing the cigarette tax by 60 cents to reduce smoking and to fund affordable coverage.
They make it simple, with:
  1. An overview of the issues and solution.
  2. A download for the petition, with complete instructions.
  3. A PDF summary of the act, section by section.
  4. The 5-page act (also PDF).
With neighbors and friends facing the dual crises of health care eligibility and affordability, this is a damned good answer to, "What can I do?"

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