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Mass. lawmakers weigh universal health care bill

December 15, 2011
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BOSTON—Beacon Hill lawmakers are planning to hear testimony on two bills designed to create universal health coverage in Massachusetts.

The Joint Committee on Health Care Financing has scheduled a public hearing Thursday on the bill that would create a public health insurance plan to compete with private insurance plans.

The bill's sponsor, state Sen. James Eldridge, said the so-called "public option" would give consumers more choice while increasing competition and reducing insurance costs.

A second bill also filed by the Acton Democrat would create a so-called single-payer health care system for Massachusetts, guaranteeing health care coverage for every resident.

Massachusetts' landmark 2006 health care law requires nearly everyone in the state have health coverage.

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Gardner Auditorium at the Statehouse

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