Photography by Tracy Trejo
“We have faith but we have lost our patience.” 836 strong, GBIO joined the MA Senate President, Senate Health Care Finance Chair and Secretary of Health and Human Services to push for progress on health care in Massachusetts. All three politicians have released or committed to legislation that addresses GBIO’s 3 priority issues. GBIO leaders will organize in-district meetings with House members to ensure that all three branches of government are on board with real reform. GBIO was also joined by over 85 people from 43 guest organizations. These institutions are looking to engage with GBIO, either as allies or as prospective new members, as part of GBIO’s refounding.
836 strong, GBIO joined the MA Senate President, Senate Health Care Finance Chair, and Secretary of Health and Human Services on Monday, November 4th, to push for progress on health care in Massachusetts. All three politicians have released or committed to legislation that addresses the 3 issues in GBIO’s health care legislative campaign:
1. Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs
2. Eliminating Out-of-network Surprise Billing
3. Increasing Access to Affordable Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Care
During Monday night’s action, leaders from across GBIO shared personal stories of struggles connected to these issues:
One woman described the $363 price tag on a 10-day supply of her husband’s kidney medication that insurance wouldn’t cover and she couldn’t afford.
Another told of receiving a $1300 surprise bill after diligently checking to make sure her family’s care was covered.
A third shared her anger and frustration after her daughter was denied ongoing mental health care by her insurance, only to land back in the emergency room.
Bonny Gilbert and Michael Rubenstein, co-chairs of the GBIO Health Care Action Team, reviewed the policy goals of GBIO’s legislative campaign and the politics it would take to win. Senate President Karen Spilka, Senator Cindy Friedman and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders spoke of their commitment and their actions to address our issues. Both Spilka and Sudders shared their own stories of struggling with mental health care for family members.
Before the action closed in prayer, GBIO leaders committed to holding in-district meetings with members of the House of Representatives to push for legislative action in the House, with the goal of passing legislation this session.
Over 85 people from 43 guest organization, including the Boston Teachers Union, St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church, Unite Here Local 26, and Hyde Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church, joined GBIO in action. These institutions are looking to engage with GBIO, either as allies or as prospective new members, as part of GBIO’s refounding. Last May, current GBIO leaders voted to refound GBIO by 2021, with the goal of bringing in 10-20 new institutions.