Saturday, September 20, 2014

Single Payer Alive and Well in Massachusetts

Donald Berwick ran a campaign for governor of Massachusetts (home of Romneycare the model for the Affordable Care Act) on a single payer platform.  Previously he ran the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services in the Department of Health and Human Services.  He ran against better funded candidates State Attorney General Martha Coakley (who had lost the special election for Ted Kennedy's Senate Seat to Scott Brown) and State Treasurer Steven Grossman.  Most polls had Berwick in the teens to the single digits as can be seen in the data tracked by Real Clear Politics.  The final results had him at 21.1% which suggests an upswing of support. 

There was no exit polling to monitor the true impact of Berwick's campaign on the voters.  The pre-election polls restricted their samples to who they thought would be likely voters.  The results suggest that Berwick brought in new voters.  Just because Berwick did not win does not mean he did not have an impact. 

The same day as the Massachusetts primary, Zephyr Teachout ran a primary challenge to New York governor Andrew Cuomo and received 30% of the vote. She discusses her campaign below.  Her campaign received more attention than Berwick's.  But it's at least as impactful.

Polling Data

PollDateSampleCoakley Grossman Berwick Spread
Final Results----42.436.521.1Coakley +5.9
WBUR/MassINC9/2 - 9/7234 LV412012Coakley +21
Boston Globe9/2 - 9/3400 LV472513Coakley +22
UMass Lowell/7News8/25 - 8/31685 LV52209Coakley +32
WBUR/MassINC8/24 - 8/31340 LV47236Coakley +24
Boston Globe8/17 - 8/26347 LV462410Coakley +22
Suffolk/Boston Herald8/21 - 8/24400 LV423016Coakley +12
Boston Globe8/10 - 8/19358 LV452410Coakley +21
Boston Globe8/3 - 8/12357 LV452110Coakley +24
Boston Globe7/27 - 8/5361 LV45189Coakley +27

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The Affordable Care Act Having an Impact in Some States but not Pennsylvania

National, State, and County Uninsured Estimates