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Martha Coakley on Health Care


System is broken and needs to be fixed now

Promises to be the 60th "yea" vote, assuring passage of the health-care bill. She says the system is broken and needs to be fixed now.

"We do not have transparency, competition," Coakley said at the debate. "We do not have, for the money we spend now, the type of health care we can and should have."

Source: Nancy Reardon, Quincy Patriot-Ledger: 2010 MA Senate debate , Jan 14, 2010

Individual mandate with public insurance option

Q: What policies would you support to make health care more affordable--particularly for the 50-64 age population? A: I will work to expand access to those without insurance coverage by supporting: an individual mandate and a public insurance option that will complement the existing employer- sponsored insurance framework by providing coverage to those that lack it, a change in payment incentives so that we no longer reward volume and complexity, and greater transparency of health care cost and quality information. I believe that doctors and patients--not insurance companies--should be in charge of health care decisions. Any health care reform package [should] preserve and strengthen Medicare, give seniors improved quality and access to care, and provide prescription drugs at lower prices.
Source: 2009 AARP Voter Guide: MA Senate , Dec 1, 2009

Target enforcement against corrupt long term care facilities

Q: How would you shift long-term care services and financing so that people can afford to stay in their homes and communities as long as appropriate?A: I support shifting long-term care services and financing so that people can afford to stay in their homes and communities as long as they are able. I believe in programs that encourage the growth of quality care for seniors, and incentives that promote the growth of home caregiving services, such as respite care, to ease the burden on families caring for loved ones in their home. Finally, as Attorney General, I targeted enforcement actions against corrupt long term care facilities, and as Senator, I will support legislation to strengthen oversight of the long term care workforce.
Source: 2009 AARP Voter Guide: MA Senate , Dec 1, 2009

Require health insurance to cover abortion

The Stupak amendment, the controversial abortion-related provision in the House health care bill, has placed abortion rights center stage. While all of the top contenders for the nomination support abortion rights--not to mention th a health care overhaul--the debate surrounding the amendment has nevertheless emerged as a key issue.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley laid down the first marker by declaring soon after the House vote last week that she wou the bill because of the amendment restricting the sale of insurance policies covering abortion through the proposed national health insurance exchange--or to women who receive health care subsidies from the federal government. Asked with a Boston radio station whether she would have voted for the bill, Coakley said, "I believe that I would not. I think that this particular amendment that was put in is really a poison pill for that bill, and it's taking two ste

Source:, "Stupak amendment" , Nov 9, 2009

Expand coverage; improve quality; reduce costs

The American health care system is broken and the time to fix it is now. Martha supports comprehensive health care reform now because America cannot afford to wait. As Attorney General, Martha filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies and health insurers that drive up health care costs. Martha believes health care reform should build on the successes we've had in Massachusetts and focus on accomplishing three key goals: (1) expanding coverage; (2) improving quality; and (3) reducing costs.
Source: 2010 Senate campaign website,, "Issues" , Oct 1, 2009

Pushed Pfizer to pay $15M for Medicare fraud

Attorney General Coakley's Office reached an agreement with pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer, resolving allegations that the company engaged in improper marketing practices to promote the sales of a variety of its drugs. Under the terms of this landmar settlement, Pfizer will pay $14,728,408 to the Massachusetts Medicaid Program, which provides funds for health care products and services to eligible low-income individuals, including people with disabilities, children and elder citizens. This is the largest national settlement in history in a health care fraud matter [totaling $700M in 9 states].

"This settlement sends a strong message to the pharmaceutical industry and to the broader healthcare community that illegal and improper practices will not be tolerated," said Coakley. "State and federal prosecutors take very seriously their responsibility to police the Medicaid program, and we will continue to work together to identify and root out fraud and abuse in the health care industry."

Source: Press release on Attorney General website, , Sep 2, 2009

Require drug manufacturers to disclose risks

Attorney General Coakley applauded the US Supreme Court's 6-3 decision in Wyeth v. Levine. "The Supreme Court recognized the critical role that states play to ensure that drug manufacturers disclose risks promptly," said Coakley.

The case involved Diane Levine, who was given Wyeth's anti-nausea drug, Phenergan. In April 2000, Levine received Phenergan through the "IV Push" method, and the drug was mistakenly injected into an artery, causing injuries that led to the amputation of her right arm belo the elbow. A jury awarded Levine $6.8 million, on grounds that Wyeth failed to provide adequate warnings about the IV Push method.

In the past year, AG Coakley's office has settled several state law consumer protection cases against pharmaceutical companies, including a $58 million multistate case against Merck relating to painkiller Vioxx; a $62 million case against Eli Lilly relating to antipsychotic drug Zyprexa; and a $60 million case against Pfizer relating to anti-inflammatory drug Bextra.

Source: Press release on Attorney General website, , Mar 4, 2009

Other governors on Health Care: Martha Coakley on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Bill Weld
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Karyn Polito
Marty Walsh
Richard Tisei
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Brian Herr
Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
John Kerry
Mo Cowan

Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.DuVal(D) vs.Mealer(AE) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.Riggs(R)
CA: Brown(D) vs.Kashkari(R)
CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Beauprez(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R) vs.Walker(R,Lt.Gov.)
FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D) vs.Snitker(L,Lt.Gov.)
GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D) vs.Hunt(L)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Aiona(R) vs.Abercrombie(D)
IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hatch(D) vs.Hoefling(R)
MA: Coakley(D) vs.Baker(R) &Polito(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D)
ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D) vs.Cutler(I)
MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
NM: Martinez(R) vs.King(D)
NY: Cuomo(D) &Hochul(D,Lt.Gov.) vs.Astorino(R) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Teachout(D)
OK: Fallin(R) vs.Dorman(D)
PA: Corbett(R) vs.Wolf(D) vs.Schwartz(D,lost primary) vs.Critz(D,Lt.Gov.,lost primary)
Newly-elected 2014:
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Up for re-election 2014:
AK-R: Sean Parnell
AL-R: Robert Bentley
CA-D: Jerry Brown
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
CT-D: Dan Malloy
FL-R: Rick Scott
GA-R: Nathan Deal
HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
IA-R: Terry Branstad
ID-R: Butch Otter
IL-D: Pat Quinn
KS-R: Sam Brownback
ME-R: Paul LePage
MI-R: Rick Snyder
MN-D: Mark Dayton
NH-D: Maggie Hassan
NM-R: Susana Martinez
NV-R: Brian Sandoval
NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
OH-R: John Kasich
OK-R: Mary Fallin
OR-D: John Kitzhaber
PA-R: Tom Corbett
SC-R: Nikki Haley
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
TN-R: Bill Haslam
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
WI-R: Scott Walker
WY-R: Matt Mead
Civil Rights
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Local Issues
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Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
AR-D: Mike Beebe
AZ-R: Jan Brewer
MA-D: Deval Patrick
MD-D: Martin O'Malley
RI-I: Linc Chafee
TX-R: Rick Perry


Page last updated: Nov 29, 2014