Lawmakers and nurses push to expand access to healthcare

One proposal would establish a single-payer health care system in Massachusetts

BOSTON (WWLP) – Residents say the state could be doing more to ensure everyone in Massachusetts has access to affordable health care. More than 100 residents came to the State House Tuesday to fight for “Medicare for all.”

The state’s Health Care Financing Committee heard from lawmakers and nurses who are pushing to expand access to health care.

Donna Dudik of the Massachusetts Nurses Association said, “Health care is a right; it’s a human right.”

One proposal would establish a single-payer health care system in Massachusetts, a move that lawmakers said would reduce medical costs and provide more resources for patients. This comes at a time when residents are concerned for the future of health care in Massachusetts with uncertainty over federal funding.

While the state has one of the highest rates of health insurance coverage in the nation, nurses told 22News services still remain unaffordable and some residents end up in the emergency room.

Sonna Kelly-Williams, President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association said, “As nurses we see first-hand the number of patients we’re seeing, they’re only resort is to wait until things get so bad that they have to seek care in the emergency room.”

Critics of the government single-payer system argue the proposal will limit access to medical technologies and lengthen service wait time.

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