A Healthy Blog

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

House Budget Analysis

House Budget Analysis

April 22, 2011

The House budget debate starts up next Monday. We'll be posting our detailed take on the proposed amendments (there are 758! - list here) soon, but in the meantime the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI) has published an overview of the health provisions, produced by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center in partnership with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.

The 3-page report is here (pdf), and it includes a wealth of detail on the assumptions and cuts included in the House Ways and Means proposal, which will be the starting place for the debate next week. Bottom lines from MMPI:

Key differences between the HWM budget proposal and the Governor's budget proposal include:

  • HWM discontinues funding for CommonwealthCareBridge, which provides subsidized coverage to 20,000 legal immigrants;
  • HWM includes $32.4 million less in programmatic funds for the MassHealth program as well as proposes even greater cuts to the MassHealth administrative budget than those proposed in the Governor's budget; and,
  • HWM designates $4 million to support the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy in its efforts to create further transparency of health care cost information through its creation of an All Payer Claims Database.

MMPI will be publishing budget fact sheets at each stage in the FY 2012 budget process, as budget proposals move through the legislature. This is a very important contribution to the public understanding of the health care issues to be decided in the budget process.
-Brian Rosman