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

HCFA Rolls Out 2011-12 Legislative Agenda

HCFA Rolls Out 2011-12 Legislative Agenda

January 26, 2011

Last week Massachusetts Representatives and Senators introduced over a dozen bills supported by HCFA and the various coalitions we lead. These bills would improve access to and the quality of care for everyone in Massachusetts, particularly those with the most needs. We will summarize the bills over the next few days. The ACT!! Coalition, which supports health reform implementation, is working on three bills:

  • An Act to Encourage Preventive Care, sponsored by Sen. Jehlen. This bill eliminates co-pays for preventive services in Commonwealth Care to align with requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The bill will codify the intended policy of the Connector to comply with the ACA's efforts to promote preventive care.
  • An Act Relative to Health Care Affordability, sponsored by Sen. Montigny and Rep. Scibak. The bill requires the individual mandate's affordability schedule to include all out-of-pocket costs – in addition to premiums – in the calculation of whether coverage is affordable. Under the current standards, people could be stuck with high, unaffordable out-of-pocket costs even in a plan deemed affordable.
  • An Act to Improve Health Care Access, sponsored by Sen. DiDomenico and Rep. Kulik. This bill codifies and strengthens the MassHealth Outreach & Access to Care Program to ensure all residents get the help they need to navigate the health care system.

The Massachusetts Prescription Reform Coalition is supporting An Act Prohibiting the Use of Prescriber-Identifiable Data for Marketing Purposes, sponsored by Sen. Montigny and Rep. Kulik. The bill safeguards the confidentiality of prescriber-identifiable data in order to protect the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship, maintain the integrity and public trust in the medical profession, and further the state interest in protecting public health and lowering the cost of health care. More to come!