VOTERS IN Scott Brown’s former state Senate district have a chance Tuesday to replace him with a promising political newcomer — one who will bring a doctor’s perspective to curbing the rising health costs that are hollowing out family and municipal budgets all over the state.
In the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex District, the Globe endorses Peter Smulowitz, an emergency room physician who understands firsthand the importance of catching diseases early and preventing costly hospital visits. A Democrat from Needham, he would work to end the great disparity in rates paid to the elite Boston hospitals and community hospitals with geographic monopolies. He advocates reforming medical malpractice by encouraging hospitals to inform patients of errors promptly and offer compensation when it is called for.
The district stretches from Wayland and Needham in the north down through Wrentham — home of the Republican candidate, three-term state Representative Richard Ross — to Attleboro in the south. With the economy the dominant issue in the campaign, Smulowitz proposes to shift more state deposits from large national banks to local community ones that would be more likely to lend to struggling small businesses. He also advocates greater use of tax incentives to support new clean-energy and high-tech companies. (A disclosure: Smulowitz wrote several blog posts on various issues last year for Boston.com’s Your Town Needham site.)
During his insurgent campaign for the Democratic nomination, Smulowitz showed a refreshing willingness to challenge established political figures. Beacon Hill could use his energy and his openness to fresh approaches.