Newton Mayor and candidate for governor Setti Warren has thrown his support behind two pieces of single-payer health care legislation, while criticizing current Gov. Charlie Baker’s approach to curbing MassHealth costs.
“What we’ve got to do, as opposed to the solutions that are coming out of Washington — particularly from the Congress right now, and this president, and the governor — as opposed to making it more expensive for people to afford health care, let’s actually make sure it’s accessible and inexpensive, and reduce costs through administrative costs and drug costs," Warren said in an interview with Boston Public Radio Tuesday.
Warren supports single-payer proposals from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Senate and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) in the house that would collectively accomplish relatively the same goal: to establish a privately delivered, publicly financed universal health care system that would expand Medicare and provide universal access care.
“There’s a choice here,” Warren said. “We keep ambling down the same road where it becomes more expensive for people — Gov. Baker proposes to make it more expensive — [or] my proposal.”
Warren outlined the “four principles” of his proposal:
“No. 1, let’s have a health care system that’s based on health outcomes for people, No. 2, let’s make it so that it’s accessible, no matter where people live,” he said. “Let’s make sure it’s affordable, and fourth, let’s make sure people have the right kind of coverage.”
“Let’s reduce coverage to administrative costs and drug costs, and not making people who are the most vulnerable in our society pay more for health care,” Warren continued. “When I talk about single-payer, and I believe in it, that’s what I’m talking about.”
Warren criticized Gov. Baker’s approach, including one plan that would transfer 140,000 non-disabled adults between ages 21 and 64 from MassHealth (Medicaid in Massachusetts) to commercial health insurance.
“We are the second-most expensive state as far as health care for people,” Warren said. “You have people … they’re making choices between going to the doctor and paying a co-pay, and paying their rent. They’re making the choices between paying for prescription drugs for themselves or their children, or putting food on the table or putting gas in the tank — this is wrong.”
Setti Warren is the Mayor of Newton and a candidate for the 2018 gubernatorial election. To hear his entire interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the audio player above.