Senator Markey talks with health care providers at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Massachusetts

Boston (March 1, 2024) - Amid Steward Health Care’s ongoing financial crisis, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of the Primary Health and Retirement Security Subcommittee of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced that he will chair a HELP subcommittee hearing in Boston on April 3 to investigate the role of for-profit companies in the United States health care system. He made the announcement after touring the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Massachusetts and speaking with workers and providers calling for continuity of care in the wake of the Steward crisis.    

After accumulating enormous medical debt and not being able to pay it back, Steward Health Care—which operates nine health care facilities across Massachusetts, including Good Samaritan—is placing health care access of communities at risk with potential closures and worker layoffs. The Steward Health Care crisis is just the latest example of for-profit companies across the country harming the health care system by cutting quality for cost saving, stretching providers thin, and forcing tens of thousands of patients to search for care alternatives in the United States.  

“Everyday heroes at Good Samaritan are at the frontlines of Steward’s financial crisis, ensuring our family, friends, and neighbors can access the quality care they deserve,” said Senator Markey. “Yet, for-profit companies like Steward shamelessly profit off the backs of health care providers while making it harder for people to get the care they need. For profit companies, including private equity, put our hospitals on life support to turn a profit—all while forcing communities to clean up the mess they leave behind. In health care, cutting corners costs lives, and that is unacceptable, no matter how big the profit. I am committed to curing the disease of corporate greed once and for all, in Massachusetts and all across our country.” 

Senator Markey was joined by members of 1199SEIU and the Massachusetts Nurses Association at Steward’s Good Samaritan hospital. 

“The healthcare workers of 1199SEIU are thankful for the leadership of Senator Markey and other elected officials by lifting up the critical care Good Samaritan Medical Center and other Steward hospitals provide across the Commonwealth. The care provided by the 5000 members of 1199 throughout the Steward system and their co-workers is essential to the communities they serve, sometimes being the only hospital in the area for patients, as evident in Brockton. Now more than ever, we must protect community care and avoid exacerbating health inequities with a long-term plan that centers the voices of caregivers and patients. This challenging situation is also the canary in the coal mine, with action needed by state and federal officials to safeguard the future of care in communities across the country,” said Tim Foley, Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU. 

“The nurses and healthcare professionals at Good Samaritan and all the Steward-owned facilities appreciate the visit today by Senator Markey and the strong support he has shown for the vulnerable communities and the dedicated caregivers impacted by this crisis. The loss of any hospital or service at this time would be devastating for the vulnerable communities served by these facilities. It is essential that all stakeholders do whatever is necessary to ensure the orderly transition of Steward facilities so that these communities continue to receive the care they need and surrounding hospitals are not overwhelmed by the prospect of potential closures. The MNA has and will continue to work with all stakeholders to develop a plan to address this current crisis, while creating appropriate processes and oversight to ensure a safer, more equitable health care system for future generations,” said Katie Murphy, President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.  

In January 2024, following a Boston Globe report indicating that Steward Health Care System is in dire financial condition, Senator Markey led Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), along with the Massachusetts delegation, in a letter to Steward pressing them on their financial position, the status of their facilities in Massachusetts, and their plans to ensure the communities they serve are not abandoned. In December 2022, Senator Markey led members of the Massachusetts delegation in a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to sound the alarm on barriers patients face in accessing health care as a result of closures, service reductions, mergers, and for-profit acquisitions of hospitals in Massachusetts and across the United States.