Health Care "hero"
"The proposed Health Care Constitutional Amendment that would ensure every Massachusetts resident access to comprehensive and affordable health care was scheduled to receive its final vote on July 12th when the Legislature reconvened in Constitutional Convention...
The Health Care Amendment received its initial approval at the July 2004 ConCon on a 153-41 vote, and only needed 50 votes in this ConCon to get on the November 2006 ballot. But instead of an up or down vote, the ConCon decided 118-76 to send the Amendment to a special committee for further study.
Legislators opposed to sending the Amendment to committee argued that affordable, comprehensive and equitably financed health care should be part of the state’s constitution and that the Amendment was necessary to make sure the new health reform law is implemented properly. They also argued that the Amendment would be available if additional reforms were needed.
Supported Progressive Health Care Reform
In late 2009, Ruth Balser was one of more than 1,000 state legislators to sign a letter entitled "State Legislators for Progressive Health Care Reform". The letter was a project of the Progressive States Network and was developed in consultation with national health care reform advocates, including the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Community Catalyst, Families USA, Herndon Alliance, National Women's Law Center, Northeast Action, SEIU, and Universal Health Care Action Network. The letter reads in part,
- "Failure to pass national comprehensive health reform now will further jeopardize state and local budgets, undermining public services like education, public safety, and transportation infrastructure... We, the undersigned, call on President Obama and the Congress to enact bold and comprehensive health care reform this year – based on these principles and a strong federal-state collaboration – and pledge our support as state legislators and allies in pursuit of guaranteed, high quality, affordable health care for all."
2014 Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Award
Boston Democratic Socialists of America's Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Awards Reception, took place Sunday, June 8, at the Workmen’s Circle, 1762 Beacon Street, Brookline.
Honorary Chairs for the DSA Awards Reception were;
Former Rep. Barney Frank; Rep. Ruth Balser; Sen. Patricia Jehlen; Dick Bauer—Co-Chair, New England Jewish Labor Committee; Arthur Bernstein—former YPSL, brother of Julius Bernstein; Jules Bernstein—labor attorney; Sheila Decter—Director, Jewish Alliance for Social Action; Ellen Feingold—former Director, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly; Michael Felsen—past president, Workmen’s Circle; Shelagh Foreman—Director, Massachusetts Peace Action; David Harris—Managing Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard Law School; Georgia Hollister Isman—Director, Mass Alliance; John McDonough—Director, Center for Public Health Leadership, Harvard School of Public Health; Rabbi Barbara Penzer—Co-Chair, New England Jewish Labor Committee; Steve Tolman, President, Massachusetts AFL-CIO; Rand Wilson—Communications and Policy Director, SEIU Local 888.