A Healthy Blog

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

Thanks, David.

Thanks, David.

August 31, 2012

Yesterday, State House News ran what on the surface appeared to be a strange story. They devoted an entire article about an aide moving from a legislative office over to the executive branch. Traditionally, legislative staffers are anonymous to the general public. They don’t grab headlines. If they do their jobs right, it’s their bosses who show up in the news, not them. Under most circumstances, an aide changing jobs is not newsworthy. But when David Seltz leaves the Senate President’s office to go to work for the Governor, it’s a different story. In many ways, David is a typical legislative aide. He does his job out of a deep commitment to his work and loyalty to Senate President Murray, not out of a desire for self-aggrandizement. What sets him apart, however, is how good he is at what he does. David always has intimate knowledge of every health care issue in play, where they are in the legislative process, the interest groups on either side, and how best to move the process forward. His willingness to put in the long hours and to tackle complex issues in unmatched. When Governor Patrick signed the Health Care Cost Control bill into law last month, we're sure that there wasn’t another person in Nurses Hall that day who was more knowledgeable about the contents of the 349 page bill than David was. The Governor acknowledged this by singling out David in his remarks, and the applause was loud and sustained. Over the past nine years, David has worked for Senator Murray, and Health Care For All has been privileged to have been able to work with him. From leading the staff work on behalf of the Senate during the conference committee for chapter 58 in 2006, to the major insurance and cost reforms in 2008 and 2010, to children’s mental health, to prescription drugs, to oral health, David was there at the most critical times. Yesterday’s word that David was leaving the Senate President’s office was a shock and a disappointment to many here at HCFA. But word that he would be the Governor’s point-person on the implementation of payment reform brought many smiles. Bringing health care costs under control in the Commonwealth while maintaining access to high quality care is no small undertaking. Knowing that David will be at the helm of this effort makes us more confident about its success. David, for everything that you have done while working for Senator Murray, thank you. For everything that you will do working for Governor Patrick, thank you even more. We look forward to tackling this next health policy challenge with you. -Matt Noyes and Brian Rosman