All Massachusetts Democrats Running for Governor Support Single-Payer

Massachusetts State House / Twitter
October 2, 2017

The three Democrats gunning for Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's (R.) job in 2018 revealed Saturday that they are ready to jump on the single-payer bandwagon.

The three Democratic gubernatorial candidates — CEO Jay Gonzalez, activist Bob Massie, and Mayor Setti Warren —  said they support moving toward a single-payer system in an interview with MassLive.

Gonzalez is the former CEO of CeltiCare, and was the first to announce his bid. Massie has tried his hand in the political ring twice: he lost a '94 lieutenant governor campaign, then bowed out of a 2012 U.S. Senate primary campaign in favor of now Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.). The only sitting lawmaker in the running is Setti Warren, the mayor of Newton, Mass. The mayor also ran a short-lived Senate campaign before dropping out for Warren, according to

Gonzalez has been an outspoken critic of Baker, saying that he is "frustrated by how little he’s accomplished, but I’m even more frustrated by how little he’s even tried." Gonzalez has also voiced his support for making Massachusetts a "sanctuary state;" Baker has deferred the decision to the "local level."

During the interview Gonzalez said he wants to "move to a single-payer system that is simpler and cheaper and better," calling the current system "dysfunctional." Gonzalez believes a single-payer health care system is a "fairer system."

The oldest of the three at age 60, Massie lauded programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the federal Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for "cover[ing] more vulnerable populations that insurers otherwise may not want to cover." Massie supports single-payer health care "as a way to eliminate some administrative cost," but believes "having concentrated market power in large medical systems,... can drive prices up."

Setti Warren, mayor of the Boston suburb of Newton, noted during the interview that "although Massachusetts remains a top state in terms of health care quality and health insurance access, it is also one of the most expensive health care systems in the country." He also mentioned administrative and drug costs as reasons he supports single-payer.

When asked about Vermont's failed attempt to create single-payer system, Warren said Massachusetts could do better because it "already has a lot of money in the healthcare system," and the state has "many health care experts."

Massachusetts Democrats are not the first to support a single-payer system. Both California and Vermont have tried and eventually rejected the idea.

Baker, meanwhile, has already begun setting fundraising goals for his 2018 run. He is currently the most popular governor in America, with a 76% approval rating.