A Healthy Blog

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

Romney Signs/Romney Vetoes

Romney Signs/Romney Vetoes

April 12, 2006

Gov. Romney got his Kodak moment in Faneuil Hall today, signing health reform legislation just before the noon hour. Though he did not mention it at the event, shortly thereafter he sent a message to the House and Senate vetoing portions of the compromise measure. Click here to see his actual veto message.

Three vetoes, in particular, stand out:

First, as expected he vetoed the $295 "fair share assessment" on employers with more than 10 workers who provide no health coverage to their workers.

Second, he vetoed restoration of certain benefits to 600,000 poor adults on the MassHealth program, benefits cut during the fiscal crisis of 2002-03, including dental benefits, dentures, eyeglasses, and certain prosthestic and orthotic devices.

Third, he vetoed the restoration of MassHealth eligibility for about 3,500 elderly and disabled legal immigrants who had been removed from the program in 2003, and to who the Legislature has sought to restore coverage on several occasions.

Other vetoes related to the Department of Public Health's Public Health Council, the Behavioral Health Procurement Report, legislative participation in federal waiver negotiations, and more -- eight vetoes in all.

We are hopeful the House and Senate will override all of these vetoes, especially the three mentioned above as quickly as possible. The Administration is looking to file its official federal waiver request by the end of the month. It would be helpful if that submission included the soon-to-be-overridden veto matters.