Mass. voters fight for universal health on ballot

A group of Massachusetts doctors, nurses and interested citizens are suing to get a proposed healthcare amendment to the state constitution onto the state's 2008 ballot. The amendment would require state executives to "ensure that no Massachusetts resident lacks comprehensive, affordable and equitably financed health insurance coverage for all medically necessary preventive, acute and chronic healthcare and mental health care services, prescription drugs and devices." The state legislature approved the amendment in 2004, after the group gathered more than 71,000 supporting signatures. But this summer, members of a constitutional convention sent the matter to a study committee rather than act on it. Since then, the committee has not met, group members say. The suit asks that the state's highest court to force the issue onto the 2008 ballot if the legislature doesn't vote on the measure. A study done earlier this year suggests that most of the state's voters support the amendment.

For more information on the suit:
- see the group's press release
- read the text of the proposed amendment

Related Article:

Feds OK Medicaid waiver for Massachusetts' universal health insurance plan. Article