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Massachusetts Voters Reject Universal Care

MANAGED CARE December 2000. © MediMedia USA
News and Commentary

Massachusetts Voters Reject Universal Care

MANAGED CARE December 2000. ©2000 MediMedia USA

Backers of one of this year's most closely watched ballot initiatives say money had everything to do with its defeat.

Massachusetts Question 5, which would have forced the state to develop a universal care system — a pet cause among many in this left-leaning state — was narrowly defeated, 52 to 48 percent. Put another way, the measure nearly succeeded, despite the fact that its opponents spent $4.7 million to defeat it, while supporters spent just $65,000 to promote its passage. HMOs spent more than $1 million to kill the measure.

Critics charged that Massachusetts would become a haven to the very sick, with costly implications for taxpayers.