BOSTON (WWLP) – In the general election this year, some voters will see more than just four ballot questions.
Voters in 20 House districts across the state will be able to vote on whether or not they support Medicare for all. The non-binding question is the broadest in the state and will affect parts of western Massachusetts.
Voters in the 2nd Berkshire, the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 12th Hampden, and the 2nd Franklin will see this on their ballot as Question 5.
The question asks voters if they support single-payer universal health care that provides the freedom to choose their own health care providers, and eliminates the role health insurance companies play “by creating an insurance trust fund that is publicly administered.”
One reason non-binding questions make the ballot is to pressure legislators in districts where the question is asked to support the corresponding legislation on Beacon Hill, this one being An Act Establishing Medicare for All in Massachusetts.
“The voter’s opinion has value and certainly in terms of the broader campaign, it’s going to be used by those who are advocating for it to be able to say to that legislator, ‘Look it, a majority of your constituents voted to support this.’ So, it certainly has value, but I think is it guaranteed that the legislator is going to vote that way? No.”
Mass-Care: the Massachusetts Campaign for Single Payer Health Care is behind this ballot initiative and they had to collect 200 signatures in each House district to get the question on the ballot. The question will also appear in parts of Central and eastern Massachusetts, as well as the North and South Shore.
The 7th and 8th Hampden County will also be electing a new state representative.