Legislature considers single-payer healthcare bill

Gerald Friedman

S501, “An Act Establishing Medicare for All in Massachusetts,” was presented at a legislative hearing earlier this month at the State House and supported by state Sen. JamieEldridge (D-Acton) and state Rep. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester), health care advocates, providers, employers, and employee union leaders. UMass Amherst Economics Professor Gerald Friedman noted during the hearing that a single-payer healthcare system would reduce costs, extend coverage and create jobs. (Nashoba Publishing, 12/15/11)

Economist Gerald Friedman, from UMass-Amherst, noted at the hearing that a single-payer system could reduce health care costs by nearly $13 billion a year (or 19 percent ) in Massachusetts. Even after expanding coverage to all Massachusetts residents, this would leave savings of over 17.6 percent of current expenditures. Municipalities in particular would benefit; according to Friedman’s calculations, local governments would save over $350 million a year.

Friedman also noted that, when added to significant administrative savings within companies, a single-payer system would dramatically enhance the competitiveness of Massachusetts companies, adding nearly 100,000 additional jobs to the economy.

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