Right to Health Care

Kennedy Pushes Universal Health Care for All. Senator Edward Kennedy says he will support Ballot Question 5 in Massachusetts to mandate universal health care coverage and limit the independent decisions and operations of health plans. According to the Boston Globe (11/1/00), "Kennedy, considered by many to be the nation's leading liberal health-care lawmaker, said Question 5 fits with his lifetime political mission of establishing universal health care. He said a yes vote here may spur other states to adopt similar policies."
Question 5 would mandate universal care by July 2002, enact stringent HMO reforms, and limit HMO spending for administrative expenses. Opponents argue that the health care system will be thrown into turmoil, raising uninsured levels and health care costs. But Senator Kennedy is unmoved, saying, "I understand some of their concerns but it seems to me that the overall objective is compelling."
The Boston Globe notes: "The theme of universal health care has been a constant in Kennedy's 38 years on Capitol Hill. He favors a Canadian-style single-payer system, in which the government would pay for all health costs. But he has largely abandoned that, at least legislatively, instead taking an incremental approach that involves adding children and the near-elderly to government-run health insurance programs."

Physician Groups Declare"Right" to Health Care an Issue for 2000. According to a U.S. Newswire Report, the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, and American College of Surgeons, have seperately and collectively decided to pursue universal health insurance. In a statement released on June 14, 1999, the group vowedto fight for three basic concepts: every American covered, a quality benefits package in all health care coverage, and medical necessity decisions should reflect generally accepted medical practice supported by outcomes-based evidence.The medical societies joint statement: "All Americans Must Have Health Insurance"