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Cape Care Draft Model 2.9
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Cape Care Archival Information

A Brief History of Cape Care


(December, 2006)

The Cape Care movement had its public beginning late in 2003. Soon after, it emerged as a Working Group of leading health and human service professionals, business leaders and thinkers, community advocates, and others with relevant experience and involvement. This group developed a preliminary consensus, on the goal of a community-based comprehensive universal health care system for the Cape and Islands region, one in which the expansion of care was to be funded principally through the administrative savings of a single-payer model. Stabilization of the precarious status of existing health care providers is an integrated goal.

This year, a Resolution, in support of the "Cape Care" Universal Health Care Proposal was approved by Town Meeting votes in 10 of 13 Cape towns, and by the Barnstable Town Council, in a 10-2 vote. Every town but Mashpee had an organized local support committee, who met neighbors, co-workers, boards of selectmen and health, Rotaries, church social groups and others.

Pursuant to these votes, we have been in discussion with the Barnstable County Commissioners and Assembly of Delegates, to support further development of this plan. We have long planned to hold public hearings-as you have done-to engage community discussion in the planning and the policy decisions.

Discussion will involve the prospective interface with state government (and federal) including the need for waivers, local initiative support and much more. We do look forward to working with you to inform the dialogue as fully as we can, to clearly draft the issues.

We were often asked, in the wake of passage of the Commonwealth Care Plan of last April, just as we went into Town Meeting season, whether we needed to continue the efforts to develop a reform model for health care financing. While we do anticipate some short-term benefits in the MassHealth program, and welcome them, given the rising costs of the current system, and the difficulties of employer sponsored health insurance in our Cape Cod economy of small and seasonal businesses, we think it prudent to continue our evaluation of what an alternative could look like. In the time required to develop plans for Cape Care, we will have an opportunity to see the impact of Commonwealth Care.