A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Breaking: Senate Passes Children’s Health Bill - Contact Your State Rep

Breaking: Senate Passes Children’s Health Bill - Contact Your State Rep

July 29, 2014

CMSP Fact Sheet

Auust 1 UPDATE: The House did not take up the CMSP bill on the last day of the formal session, July 31. However, the legislature continues to meet in "informal" session through the end of the year, approving legislation by unanimous consent. Given the bi-partisan support for this bill, we are hopeful that it can be taken up soon during an informal meeting. Contacting legislators is still helpful.

 

The Massachusetts State Senate voted today to pass a key HCFA bill to improve children's health coverage. The bill has until midnight Thursday to pass the House, before formal legislative sessions end for the year. After that, bills are much harder to pass.

The bill is S.2320, titled, An Act improving the children’s medical security program and simplifying the administration process. Click here for a fact sheet on the bill.

The Children’s Medical Security Plan (CMSP) is a program designed to help kids get the coverage they need, but there are benefit caps that hurt kids. The plan now includes restrictions like a $1,000 cap on emergency medical care. There’s no coverage for basics like eyeglasses or hearing aids. This bill would improve CMSP and ensure that all kids get the coverage they need. The bill would not increase costs for the program, but allow for more flexible benefits to help kids who depend on the program.

The bill passed on a unanimous voice vote in the Senate this afternoon. During today's Senate debate, Senate Republican leader Bruce Tarr praised the bill, saying CMSP "has been a successful health care initiative. This modifies it to strengthen it and adopt it to parameters of the Affordable Care Act." Senate sponsor Sal DiDomenico agreed, saying, "We will provide more effective care and save costs and put those costs in the right places."  Other sponsors include Senator Patricia Jehlen, and Representatives Elizabeth  Malia, Kay Khan, Ruth Balser, Gailanne Cariddi, Cory Atkins, Thomas M. Stanley, Danielle Gregoire, Denise Provost, Sean Garballey, and Denise Andrews.

We urge supporters to call their Representative now to support this bill. To find out how to contact your State Representative, click here.  

 - Jessica Maskin