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

The Newest Frontier: Health Care and the Attorney General

The Newest Frontier: Health Care and the Attorney General

February 13, 2009

On Wednesday, Attorney General Martha Coakley spoke at a meeting of Health Law Advocates Health Policy and Law series. She candidly admitted that when she took office in 2007, she had very little knowledge of the health care world and understood that if she was going to succeed at her job, she would need to learn all that she could. But in discussing the analysis from Atul Gawande’s recent piece on healthcare reform in The New Yorker and talking about her office’s initiatives involving health care, Coakley seemed like a health policy regular. Under the guise that all each step her office takes may not be “sexy,” she emphasized every step was important to securing adequate health care for residents of the Commonwealth.

During her presentation, the Attorney General highlighted the work of her office is doing in the health policy arena including serious reportable events, the Connector Board (of which her office appointees three people), the Health Care Cost & Quality Council, and protecting consumers from deceptive marketing practices of many pharmaceutical companies through Chapter 93A. She mentioned partnerships with Secretary Bigby on the HealthyMASS Compact and other states on securing settlements for the Commonwealth where its residents may have been harmed. Coakley also mentioned her hope of being in involved more in the upcoming cost containment efforts.

She also discussed her office’s work on community benefits, which we highlighted here, their work at trying to tamp down "sub-prime" insurers and discount card operations, and the role of antitrust analysis.
Jessica Hamilton