A Healthy Blog

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

Oh What a Session!

Oh What a Session!

December 15, 2008

The 2007-2008 Legislative Session is quickly coming to an end. The past 24 months have been busy for us at Health Care For All. Click here for a .pdf file of our Healthy Victories, a newsletter distributed at the State House highlighting our successes. Among them:

  • Chapter 305 of the Acts of 2008 - An Act to Promote Cost Containment, Transparency, and Efficiency in the Delivery of Quality Health Care. The comprehensive bill introduced by Senate President Murray included numerous provisions championed by HCFA, including prescription drug reforms, several quality initiatives, and measures to reduce cost growth.
  • Creation of an Office of Health Equity in EOHHS, funded at $250,000
  • Continued successful implementation of health reform, now covering 442,000 newly insured Massachusetts residents, including continued funding for the MassHealth outreach and enrollment grant program
  • Chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008 - An Act Relative To Children’s Mental Health
  • Making permanent the MassHealth Smoking Cessation program
  • Increasing the tobacco tax by $1 a pack, with the funds allocated to health reform

Health Care For All and the Oral Health Advocacy Task Force are still waiting for one more victory, the passage of S. 2819, the landmark oral health legislation. This bill is a remarkable collaboration between the Legislature, the Administration, dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and health care advocates. If enacted, it will greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the oral health workforce and infrastructure in Massachusetts, to the benefit of all of its residents. In the final days of the session we urge the House to pass S. 2819 and send it to the Governor’s desk.