FY19 Health Care Senate Budget Amendments Review
Just last week, the Massachusetts Senate released their budget proposal for fiscal year 2019, which begins on July 1 of this year. Senators will be debating and voting on many amendments in the short term, including a number of important health care related amendments.
HCFA is supporting a number of amendments that will improve access to affordable and quality health care coverage; there are also some proposed amendments we oppose that would move our state backwards.
With debate in the Senate starting, it is critical that your Senator knows how constituents feel about these critical health care related amendments. To find your State Senator's contact information, click here. A summary of these key amendments is below:
Amendment #599 (Monitoring Accountable Care Organization Use & Efficacy of Non-Medical Services): Sponsored by Senator Welch, directs MassHealth to work to report data on ACO activities to address social determinants of health.
Amendment #491 (Office of Health Equity): Sponsored by Senator Lewis, allows existing EOHHS funds to support activities of an Office of Health Equity.
Amendment #580 (Academic Detailing): Sponsored by Senator Lewis, increases funding for a physician education program on cost-effective utilization of prescription drugs to $500,000.
Amendment #515 (Smoking Prevention & Cessation Program): Sponsored by Senator Lewis, restores funding to the FY2007 level of $8,500,000 to provide adequate funding for this vital tobacco control program.
Amendment #620 (Protecting Medically Fragile Children): Sponsored by Senator Friedman, provides an additional $16 million investment in the Continuous Skilled Nursing Program.
Amendment #414 (Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids): Sponsored by Senator Crighton, increases funding by $150,000 for the Mental Health Advocacy Program for Kids, providing $200,000 to support this valuable program.
Amendment #614 (Return to School "Bridge" Programs): Sponsored by Senator Friedman, provides $250,000 to maintain and expand these Bridge programs.
Amendment #484 (Health Connector Coverage For Non-Disabled Adults): Opposing this amendment, sponsored by Senator Tarr, would prevent disruptions in coverage for 140,000 adult MassHealth enrollees.
Amendment #496 (Moratorium on Mandated Benefits): Opposing this amendment, sponsored by Senator Tarr, excludes a blanket moratorium on new mandated benefits from the FY18 budget.
Amendment #422 & #488: (Prescription Drug Copay Coupons): Opposing these amendments, sponsored by Senator Demacedo and Senator Tarr, prevents pharmaceutical companies from using rebates and coupons to influence consumer choice and drives up health care spending.
Again, we strongly encourage each of you to contact your State Representative regarding each of these amendments. Make sure that your voice is being heard by those making the decisions!