A Healthy Blog

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

Picky, Picky, Picky

Picky, Picky, Picky

June 30, 2005

Not that we're picky, yet we could not help noticing in Gov. Romney's "Report to the Commonwealth" circulated as a glossy supplement in yesterday Boston Globe, the Governor claiming the following task as "Done" ... "Reduce by 20 percent by 2005 the number of uninsured."

Excuse us? In 2000, the State's uninsured survey showed 365,000 uninsured in MA; in 2002 the figure was 418,000; in 2004, the state-documented figure was 460,000; last week the Urban Institute estimated the current number at 532,000. By the state's own data, the number of uninsured grew from '02 to '04 by 10%, and according to the Blue Cross estimate by 26%. Could anyone tell us how this task gets marked as "Done"?

And speaking of picky, here are some health access items the Governor picked apart with his veto pen, just announced:

  • Restoration of dental benefits for poor mothers with children up to age 3 -- vetoed;
  • Restoration of smoking cessation benefits for poor new mothers -- vetoed; (What's the Governor got against poor new mothers?)
  • Restoration of affordable premiums for poor children enrolled in the Children's Medical Security Plan;
  • Prohibition of "sponsor deeming" for poor elderly and disabled legal immigrants in MassHeatlh -- vetoed.