This is another policy area where Senate Republicans have prevented progress on things from prescription drug costs to capping insulin payments. Where obstructionists have prevented Biden’s reforms on healthcare, I will fight to make sure they pass in Massachusetts.
Furthermore, with Roe v Wade and other lifesaving procedures under attack, it is critical that our Commonwealth once again lead the nation when it comes to assuring that everybody deserves and receives equal access to quality healthcare. Having the right to “choose” is a false option if this choice is not affordable to people. Massachusetts can lead on reproductive justice, but we have not been proactive enough on this critical issue. In the upcoming legislative cycle, we need to require that all private insurance plans in Massachusetts that offer maternity care coverage also cover abortion. Massachusetts should also establish a state fund for abortion access and allow Bay Staters to contribute to the fund through our state income tax returns. Additionally, we must protect legal abortion providers who are constantly under attack and harassed directly at their workplace; to protect our Massachusetts healthcare workers and patients, we need to prohibit state law enforcement from cooperating with out-of-state investigations related to abortion. I am also actively listening to abortion providers and patients on the critical legislation they need in this moment, and if elected would co-sponsor and actively advocate for the entire list of priority bills of Reproductive Equity Now (formerly known as NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts) and the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, including medication abortion access on public college campuses, doula services, telehealth equity, and expand access to emergency contraception (Plan B).
The best way to make sure that comprehensive reproductive healthcare is available to all is to make all healthcare available. We all deserve access to quality healthcare. Many countries have made universal healthcare available and lowered the cost of overall healthcare while improving life expectancy/health outcomes for the general population. Certainly the pandemic made this need for our nation all the more clear. Now is the time for Medicare for All and Massachusetts should lead the nation, as we have before. In 2006 Massachusetts took the first step and lead the nation with the Massachusetts health care reform (commonly referred to as Romneycare). The time has come for us to finish that journey and lead as the first state to implement Medicare For All.