Source: The Boston Globe
On May 26, 2005 The Boston Globe reported, "a coalition of religious and community groups will launch a drive today to put universal healthcare on the 2006 state ballot, in a proposal that would raise the cigarette tax to buy coverage for more people and would require all but the smallest Massachusetts businesses to cover their workers. The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization argues that its approach would go further to reduce the ranks of the state's 500,000 uninsured than the alternatives under consideration on Beacon Hill that are backed by Governor Mitt Romney and Senate President Robert E. Travaglini. The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, which includes 65 religious congregations and community groups in Eastern Massachusetts, says its plan would cover everybody by expanding the state's insurance program for the needy and by forcing businesses to provide coverage. Romney and Travaglini want to make private insurance more affordable by allowing insurance companies to offer lower-cost policies with scaled-back benefits. Neither of their plans includes a tax increase or an ironclad employer mandate, an approach that the business community strongly opposes."