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

Not For Wonks Only: House/Senate Budgets Comparison

Comparing the House and Senate health care budgets for FY2015

Not For Wonks Only: House/Senate Budgets Comparison

June 10, 2014

The Mass Medicaid Policy Institute released its latest budget analysis comparing the FY 2015 House and Senate budgets for MassHealth and health reform programs.

The analysis, prepared with the Mass Law Reform Institute and the Mass Budget and Policy Center, goes deep into the details now being hashed out by the House-Senate Conference Committee on the state budget for the upcoming year.

The report highlights two differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget that we're particularly focused on:

Adult Dental Coverage
Unlike the House, the Senate includes $4.0 million to restore coverage for adult dentures and states that such coverage would start no later than April 1, 2015. The House provision precludes the Administration from restoring dentures. Both House and Senate proposals include full-year funding for adult dental fillings for all teeth, a service that was restored in March 2014.
Affordability Provision
The House budget includes language stating that for people with incomes up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level, ConnectorCare must offer at least one health plan that has no required premium contribution. A similar provision was included in the statute creating Commonwealth Care, the program ConnectorCare replaces. The Senate budget does not include a similar provision.
Now is the time to contact your Representative and Senator on behalf of these and other critical budget issues. On presciption drug policy, we're supporting a Senate provision providing $500,000 for an evidence-based, non-commercial prescriber education program on the therapeutic and cost-effective utilization of prescription drugs, to counter the drug industry's marketing pressure. We also support a number of Senate provisions strengthening our state mental health parity law enforcement. We're also pushing for the higher House level of funding for public health quality efforts.
 -- Brian Rosman