UPDATE: Single-payer amendment fails–but 15 Senators stand strong

Today, on a 24-15 vote, the MA Senate failed to pass the “single-payer” amendment (#125) introduced by Sen. Eldridge to s.2060.

As progressives, we understand that the fight for single-payer is a long one. We can be heartened today, however, that 15 Senators stood strong and stood up for single-payer health care. 

We must support progressives when they take a step outside the expected. Please send an email or make a call of THANKS to these Senators for their principled stand on progressive health care reform!

Don’t see your Senator? How about a note expressing your wish that s/he stand up for progressive health care reform next time?


UPDATE 5/15: Blogger HesterPrynne has roll call list, includes the “did not votes” and “no votes”

UPDATE 5/16: Senator Eldridge gives grassroots activists a shout-out:

My single-payer amendment was debated yesterday, and although we did not ultimately prevail, the vote (15-22) was much closer than I – or anyone else – had expected. Frankly, it’s rare to see an amendment that is opposed by the leadership of the Senate gain that much support. Every co-sponsor of my original single-payer bill stayed with us, and several more senators joined us. The vote caught people by surprise, and sent a message that support for single-payer health care in Massachusetts is strong and growing.

This happened because of grassroots activism.

Earlier this week, a number of grassroots advocacy groups, including Mass CareProgressive Massachusetts, the Progressive Democrats of America, and the League of Women Voters, put out the call: it’s time to contact your Senator and ask him or her to support the single-payer amendment.

And people responded. Many of my colleagues told me the phone just kept ringing with single-payer supporters. Some legislators who may have been wavering stood with us because they knew their constituents were watching. Others gave the amendment more serious consideration after initially dismissing it.

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