Physicians ask Sen. Kennedy to reintroduce universal healthcare legislation

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A group of 500 Massachusetts physicians have sent a letter to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) asking him to resist modeling a national healthcare system on the recently revamped Massachusetts system.

The physicians of Massachusetts instead asked Kennedy to reintroduce legislation similar to H.R. 676, The Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act. The bill was introduced but never passed during the 110th congressional session. It would call for a universal single payer insurance system, which would include comprehensive long-term care coverage, according to a Harvard Medical School analysis of the Massachusetts plan.

The Massachusetts healthcare system combines expanded state coverage with private insurance plans. Critics say that, while the plan does help many low-income families, there are more low and middle-income families that cannot find affordable coverage. Also, the Massachusetts plan creates out-of-control out-of-pocket costs, particularly for those with chronic conditions, according to the Harvard analysis. Nine out of 10 seniors have at least one chronic condition, and it is estimated that 75% of healthcare spending goes towards treatment of those illnesses.