The Agawam City Council should pass TR-2024-9, a resolution to urge Beacon Hill to establish “Medicare for All” — a single-payer system for universal health care for every resident of the commonwealth.

Just for the Agawam town government budget alone, Medicare for All would save almost $13 million per year compared to the town’s annual health insurance premiums we taxpayers pay now. That savings over 10 years could pay the town’s cost for the new high school.

How is this possible? Because Medicare for All takes the profit motive out of health care. Under Medicare for All, there are no premiums, copays or deductibles, because there are no multi-million-dollar salaries for executives and no dividends to have to pay to corporate shareholders. The administrative overhead of private health insurers averages between 15% to 30%. The current administrative overhead for Medicare and Medicaid is about 2%.

And Medicare for All would be negotiating with Big Pharma on behalf of all 7 million residents of the commonwealth, giving it powerful leverage to keep prescription drug prices low.

Best of all, Medicare for All eliminates the insurance companies’ pencil-pushers from the decision process of who gets what care. If your doctor says it’s medically necessary, you get the care. Period. No matter who you are — wealthy, working, disabled, young, old. If you need the care, you get it. Check out MassCare.org for details of how it works.

And Agawam’s constituents want Medicare for All. In 2022, 55% of voters in the 6th Hampden District, which includes North Agawam, supported a non-binding ballot initiative instructing Beacon Hill to create a single-payer system of universal health care.

After all, if it will save the Agawam town government $13 million in its budget, imagine how much money it’ll keeping in our pockets.

Susan Grossberg