Tom Birmingham on Health Care

Former State Senate President; Democratic Challenger MA Governor

Patient Bill of Rights; push for right to sue HMOs

Last year, Birmingham led the Senate in its fight for a Patients Bill of Rights, and sweeping reform of HMO’s. The Boston Globe reported that “consumers and health care provides hailed the Senate bill as a major advancement of patient rights.” Now that the bill is law, patients have rights they deserve. The legislation puts patients, not profits, first. When people are consulting with their health care professionals, the insurance companies are out in the waiting room.

Tom is now working to give consumers a powerful tool to hold HMO’s accountable: the right to sue an HMO when it does harm. This will strengthen the power of doctors and patients to make healthcare decisions - without excessive interference from HMO bureaucrats. Making HMOs liable for the harm done when they are negligent will not only provide compensation for those who are injured, it will also create powerful incentives for HMOs to improve the quality of the care they provide to everyone.

Source: Campaign web site, TomBirmingham.org Nov 24, 2001

Protect genetic privacy in health insurance

The Senate, under Tom’s leadership, repeatedly passed genetic privacy legislation to ensure that the information we seek about our health cannot be used against us. The bill has become law and helps ensure that scientific progress does not set us back when it comes to insurance coverage and premiums.
Source: Campaign web site, TomBirmingham.org Nov 24, 2001

Health Now! funds low-income healthcare from cigarette tax

There are over 365,000 people in Massachusetts without health insurance. Seventy percent of these are working adults. Tom believes that people who work hard trying to raise a family should not have to fear that going to the hospital would be financially devastating. That is why is fighting for the Health Now! legislation that provides access to healthcare for over 75,000 low income adults - and pays for it by increasing the tax on cigarettes by fifty cents a pack.
Source: Campaign web site, TomBirmingham.org Nov 24, 2001

Make universal health care coverage for kids a right

Tom made universal health care coverage for kids a top priority and overrode a gubernatorial veto to make access to quality health care a right for all kids in the Commonwealth. “In our civilized society, no one should be without health care,” said Tom. “The uninsured and underinsured are a rip in our social fabric and our safety net.” He has been fighting to increase and expand health care coverage, and the greatest strides have been made for kids and seniors.
Source: Campaign web site, TomBirmingham.org Nov 24, 2001

Universal coverage for senior prescriptions

Tom has been directing dollars and sense to helping seniors grapple with the unacceptably high cost of buying medicine. Too many seniors face the unconscionable choice between food or prescription drugs. Now we’ve got universal coverage so that all seniors get help to buy the medicines they need. Tom is also looking into ways, including bulk purchasing, that the state can improve the marketplace for prescriptions so that senior citizens matter more than shareholders.
Source: Campaign web site, TomBirmingham.org Nov 24, 2001

Other governors on Health Care: Tom Birmingham on other issues:
AK Frank Murkowski
AL Bob Riley
AR Mike Huckabee
AZ Janet Napolitano
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
CO Bill Owens
CT Jodi Rell
DE Ruth Ann Minner
FL Jeb Bush
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
IA Tom Vilsack
ID Dirk Kempthorne
IL Rod Blagojevich
IN Mitch Daniels
KS Kathleen Sebelius
KY Ernie Fletcher
LA Kathleen Blanco
MA Mitt Romney
MD Bob Ehrlich
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
MN Tim Pawlenty
MO Matt Blunt
MS Haley Barbour
MT Brian Schweitzer
NC Mike Easley
ND John Hoeven
NE Dave Heineman
NH John Lynch
NJ Jon Corzine
NM Bill Richardson
NV Kenny Guinn
NY George Pataki
OH Bob Taft
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Don Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
TX Rick Perry
UT Jon Huntsman
VA Tim Kaine
VT Jim Douglas
WA Christine Gregoire
WI Jim Doyle
WV Joe Manchin III
WY Dave Freudenthal
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