Tom Menino on Health Care



Health care is a right, not a privilege

Easing inequities means continuing to reduce disparities in health care. Boston is home to the world's best health care resources, yet some residents still do not share in the miracles performed here. Meanwhile, community health centers operate where people live, they are at the forefront of health issues, and they provide excellent care. So, we'll launch Neighbor Care. Neighbor Care will increase the use of community health centers-- providing more hours and more services in the neighborhoods. I am asking our Public Health Commission to team up with hospitals, health insurance companies, and the community health centers to help the centers extend their hours and access. America's first community health center was established on Dorchester's Columbia's Point. A long tradition across the city continues to this day. While some in Congress now seek to limit access to health care. In Boston, we remember what a good man told us: healthcare is a right, not a privilege.
Source: 2011 State of the City Address , Jan 11, 2011

State should grant cities power to determine healthcare

Let me address a disparity: The difference between what we pay for city employee health care costs and what we can afford, what private sector neighbors get, and what the State provides to its employees. In this economy, it's tough enough for our neighbors to cover their own healthcare costs. We should not ask them to cover the vast majority of ours.

Our healthcare costs are an enormous strain on an already grim financial situation. Boston taxpayers pay 82% of health care costs for most City employees. In total, our healthcare costs will reach nearly $300 million next year. The State pays 67% of healthcare costs for new employees. If Boston had the same plan design, we could save $1 million a month. Municipal union leaders can make this right at the negotiating table. The City Council can make this right by approving my home rule petition for a Boston version of the state's Group Insurance Commission. The State can make this right by granting us the power they gave themselves.

Source: 2011 State of the City Address , Jan 11, 2011

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Page last updated: Mar 26, 2021