State of Massachusetts Archives: on Health Care


Gabriel Gomez: Repeal medical device tax in ObamaCare

The two were asked what they could do to help improve the economy in western Massachusetts. The unemployment rate in Springfield tops 10 percent, much higher than the state as a whole.

Gomez said one way to protect local jobs is to repeal the medical device tax included in President Barack Obama's 2010 federal health care law.

Markey said he supported job-creating projects in western Massachusetts including the Union Station regional transportation project in Springfield.

Source: Boston Herald on 2013 MA Senate debates Jun 11, 2013

Gabriel Gomez: ObamaCare hurts the middle class & small business

The two split on President Barack Obama's 2010 health care law. Gomez said the law is hurting middle class families and small businesses, including the state's medical device manufacturers. Markey praised the 2010 law, which he has called one of the proudest votes of his career.
Source: Boston Herald on 2013 MA Senate debate Jun 6, 2013

Gabriel Gomez: Universal affordable coverage, but repeal ObamaCare

On health care, Sullivan and Gomez said they would repeal Obama's health care reform law. Sullivan said the Affordable Care Act--similar to the Massachusetts reforms put in place under Republican Gov. Mitt Romney--did not address the biggest problem with health care, which is high costs. "Massachusetts, with Dan and others, and now the national government has put in a health care plan that doesn't address the one problem we didn't like, which is cost," Sullivan said.

Gomez said he believes there should be universal, affordable health care coverage, but reform should be done at a state level, as in Massachusetts.

Winslow said he believes "Obamacare is bad for Massachusetts" because there is already a state-based plan, and the national reform adds taxes and bureaucracy. But rather than repeal it, he would exempt any states that already meet federal standards from the Affordable Care Act.

Source: Springfield Republican on 2013 MA Senate debates Mar 28, 2013

Ed Markey: Supported ObamaCare but would repeal aspects of it

Markey emphasized his work on healthcare reform and criticized Lynch for voting against the Affordable Care Act. Lynch charged that Markey, who, along with a majority of Democrats backed the law, had lost "leverage" in passing a bill he sees as flawed.

Lynch said that he opposed the law because it increased taxes on health care for businesses and because it lacked a public option. Markey hit back, charging that Lynch was "wrong when you were needed most on that bill," and noting that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, a revered Democratic figure in Massachusetts politics, had fought for health care reform for the length of his legislative career.

Both said they'd be willing to vote to repeal aspects of the bill, but Markey said he'd work to prevent Republicans from repealing the bill in its entirety. "The Republicans are going to try to repeal it. And I want to go to the Senate to make sure they do not repeal that historic piece of legislation based upon Massachusetts law," he said.

Source: The Hill coverage of 2013 MA Senate debates Mar 27, 2013

Steve Lynch: Opposed ObamaCare and would repeal aspects of it

Markey criticized Lynch for voting against the Affordable Care Act. Lynch charged that Markey, who, along with a majority of Democrats backed the law, had lost "leverage" in passing a bill he sees as flawed.

Lynch voted against reform in a move that drew the ire of a number of labor unions in 2010. He said that he opposed the law because it increased taxes on health care for businesses and because it lacked a public option.

Markey hit back, charging that Lynch was "wrong when you were needed most on that bill." Both said they'd be willing to vote to repeal aspects of the bill, but Markey said he'd work to prevent Republicans from repealing the bill in its entirety. "The Republicans are going to try to repeal it. And I want to go to the Senate to make sure they do not repeal that historic piece of legislation based upon Massachusetts law," he said.

Source: The Hill coverage of 2013 MA Senate debates Mar 27, 2013

Martha Coakley: System is broken and needs to be fixed now

Promises to be the 60th "yea" vote, assuring passage of the health-care bill. She says the system is broken and needs to be fixed now.

"We do not have transparency, competition," Coakley said at the debate. "We do not have, for the money we spend now, the type of health care we can and should have."

Source: Nancy Reardon, Quincy Patriot-Ledger: 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 14, 2010

Scott Brown: 41st vote against Obama's healthcare plan

Vows to be the 41st vote against health-care legislation, effectively killing the effort. He says Congress should start over, believing because that the current plan costs too much and will lead to means higher taxes. "You're talking about a trillion-dollar health-care plan and a half-trillion in Medicare cuts," he said in Monday night's debate.
Source: Nancy Reardon, Quincy Patriot-Ledger: 2010 MA Senate debate Jan 14, 2010

Alan Khazei: Close the Medicare Part D coverage gap

Q: What policies would you support to make health care more affordable--particularly for the 50-64 age population? A: Access to quality care is both a moral issue and an economic issue, and we must enact comprehensive health care reform that guarantees affordable coverage. I strongly support a public option. We must close the Medicare Part D coverage gap, increase federal funding for home and community based services, reduce prescription drug costs for those with Medicare by negotiating lower prices, and create systems that help individuals transition home after hospital stays. I will work to overhaul our medical malpractice system in a way that promotes cooperation, and gives malpractice victims compensation through a choice of options in addition to the court system.
Source: 2009 AARP Voter Guide: MA Senate Dec 1, 2009

Jack Robinson: Universal coverage; no Medicare cuts; no tax increase

Q: What policies would you support to make health care more affordable--particularly for the 50-64 age population? A: While I have been a long-time supporter of AARP, and will be eligible for membership myself next year, AARP's recent endorsement of the House health care reform bill, which will include over $500 billion in Medicare cuts and over $300 billion in new taxes, is misguided. If elected as your next United States Senator, I will only vote for a health care bill that: (1) provides universal coverage; (2) minimizes costs; (3) does not include a single dime of cuts to Medicare; (4) does not raise taxes; and (5) does not saddle our grandchildren with multiple trillions of dollars of debt. For more information on my unique 12-Point Plan for Health Care Reform, please visit my web site.
Source: 2009 AARP Voter Guide: MA Senate Dec 1, 2009

Jack Robinson: Increase consumer choice and control for longterm care

Q: How would you shift long-term care services and financing so that people can afford to stay in their homes and communities as long as appropriate?A: The candidate chose not to make additional comments.
Source: 2009 AARP Voter Guide: MA Senate Dec 1, 2009

Martha Coakley: Individual mandate with public insurance option

Q: What policies would you support to make health care more affordable--particularly for the 50-64 age population? A: I will work to expand access to those without insurance coverage by supporting: an individual mandate and a public insurance option that will complement the existing employer- sponsored insurance framework by providing coverage to those that lack it, a change in payment incentives so that we no longer reward volume and complexity, and greater transparency of health care cost and quality information. I believe that doctors and patients--not insurance companies--should be in charge of health care decisions. Any health care reform package [should] preserve and strengthen Medicare, give seniors improved quality and access to care, and provide prescription drugs at lower prices.
Source: 2009 AARP Voter Guide: MA Senate Dec 1, 2009

Martha Coakley: Target enforcement against corrupt long term care facilities

Q: How would you shift long-term care services and financing so that people can afford to stay in their homes and communities as long as appropriate?A: I support shifting long-term care services and financing so that people can afford to stay in their homes and communities as long as they are able. I believe in programs that encourage the growth of quality care for seniors, and incentives that promote the growth of home caregiving services, such as respite care, to ease the burden on families caring for loved ones in their home. Finally, as Attorney General, I targeted enforcement actions against corrupt long term care facilities, and as Senator, I will support legislation to strengthen oversight of the long term care workforce.
Source: 2009 AARP Voter Guide: MA Senate Dec 1, 2009

Michael Capuano: Preserve all the Medicare benefits for seniors

Q: What policies would you support to make health care more affordable--particularly for the 50-64 age population? A: I will fight to make sure that comprehensive health reform preserves all the benefits Medicare provides for senior citizens. I will work to insure affordable health care for all by offering a public plan. I voted against Medicare Part D because I thought it would not help seniors sufficiently. Its faults, like the doughnut hole, must be remedied. More fundamentally, I anticipated that adding a multi-billion dollar benefit without adding a penny of revenue would place the entire Medicare system in jeopardy. Medicare must be kept solvent. I will insist that drug prices be negotiated for Medicare beneficiaries and for all drugs purchased through publicly funded health plans.
Source: 2009 AARP Voter Guide: MA Senate Dec 1, 2009

Stephen Pagliuca: Close the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole" coverage gap

Q: What policies would you support to make health care more affordable--particularly for the 50-64 age population? A: A growing number of adults age 50-64 are without coverage. Without coverage, these people finally enter Medicare coverage in poorer health than those who were insured. The healt care reform bill that finally emerges from Congress should recognize the unique set of problems facing this age group, especially for those without coverage through their employers, or who cannot afford private coverage. The Baucus bill also goes at leas part way in reducing the costs of the so-called doughnut hole for prescription drugs; however, I will fight to eliminate this gap in coverage completely. I am opposed to any reductions in the coverage Medicare now provides.
Source: 2009 AARP Voter Guide: MA Senate Dec 1, 2009

Stephen Pagliuca: Expand home and community-based long term care services

Q: How would you shift long-term care services and financing so that people can afford to stay in their homes and communities as long as appropriate?A: I support AARP's goal of expanding the use of home and community-based long term care services (HCBS), which has the twin benefits of expanding consumer choice while lowering long-term growth in costs. At a time of tight budgets and the continuing growth of the over 65 population, we should embrace the expansion of HCBS. In Massachusetts, only 24% of Medicaid funding for long-term care goes to HCBS programs.
Source: 2009 AARP Voter Guide: MA Senate Dec 1, 2009

Scott Brown: MA already has health bill; don't impose new federal bill

Q: On health care reform: the Senate bill has got a public option. Would you vote for it?

A: I'm shocked at the four people that are running on the other side and the twelve people that are representing us [as the Massachusetts delegation in Congress] are pushing this so hard--in Massachusetts we have a law already that's working. It's not perfect, but the same bill at the federal level is going to be in direct competition in Massachusetts and it's not going to be good for Massachusetts businesses. Massachusetts citizens are taxpayers: it's going to cost upwards of three trillion dollars. Why don't we take a little bit of federal money and fix the approach to the problems that we may have here: mandates and a lot of the managed care issues we've go --let the other states do it [as Massachusetts did]. I think it's inappropriate for the federal government to come down and put their will on our people. I'm not saying that I think everybody should have some form of coverage. But we already have it.

Source: NECN Good Morning Live interviews on 2009 MA Senate race Nov 30, 2009

Scott Brown: Public option is really a government option

Q: Where are you in the public option in national health care reform?

A: It's really a government option and for us in Massachusetts, we have almost 94% of our people insured here in Massachusetts. And we have a fantastic health care system, teaching hospitals, insurance companies that provide great benefits for our state. Why would we want to--I feel--dumb down the medical services and medical insurance in Massachusetts to provide for that type of plan? So I'm not in favor of it.

Source: WBUR interview on 2009 MA Senate primary debate Sep 14, 2009

Kerry Healey: Save $160M by consolidating city & town insurance purchases

Q: There’s talk of a $160 million shortfall in the health care program you and the governor helped create. How are you going to pay for that?

HEALEY: [I would] consolidate all of our health care purchases for our cities and towns and have them bought through the state group insurance commission. That will take literally hundreds of millions of dollars that is wasted right now and put it back onto the plate of our cities and towns and that will relieve the pressure on local taxes.

Source: 2006 MA Gubernatorial debate on Fox News with Chris Wallace Sep 25, 2006

Scott Brown: Ensure access to basic health care, including state funding

Source: 2002 MA Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Massachusetts Politicians: Archives.
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2012 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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Page last updated: Dec 16, 2013