Newsletter: Summer 2015 Edition

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
 

Health Care For All

  Summer 2015 News

Dear Friend,

 

The first half of 2015 has been exciting and busy at Health Care For All!

 

This year marks our 30th anniversary, and we kicked-off the celebration by launching a 30th Anniversary Campaign, by creating a new coalition focused on child well-being, and by organizing the third annual Patient and Family Advisory Council Conference.

 

Health Care For All (HCFA) also celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act by highlighting the improvements to coverage for millions of Americans -- and by focusing on the cost issues that still keep too many state residents from the services they need most.

 

HCFA is delighted to share the following highlights from the past six months with you. As we approach the end of our fiscal year on June 30th, we ask that you please consider making a contribution so that we can enter the second half of 2015 ready to continue making Massachusetts healthier.

Inaugurating a New Coalition: "Healthy Food, Healthy Homes, Healthy Children"

Last fall, HCFA launched a new and innovative coalition focused on the needs of young people. The Healthy Food, Healthy Homes, Healthy Children (HHH) Coalition is a diverse group of human service providers, researchers and advocacy organizations coming together to take a holistic approach to child well-being.
 

In January of this year, the HHH Coalition filed legislation that addresses a range of issues affecting low-income children, including nutrition, health care and shelter. Thirty-five members of the legislature signed on as original co-sponsors of the bill.

 

The Coalition also developed budget priorities and will conduct an advocacy campaign during the Fiscal Year 2016 state budget process.

Advocacy and Organizing

As the state legislature approaches the conclusion of its annual budget process, Health Care For All continues to advocate for the interests of Massachusetts consumers.

 

Already, HCFA has achieved victories for health care consumers, including:

  • The continuation of funding for full dentures, fillings, cleanings and extractions for MassHealth members. 
  • Significantly increased funding for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program, a new priority for HCFA and our HHH Coalition.
  • A Senate increase in the state's Earned Income Tax Credit, which is an important tool for low-income families trying to lift themselves out of poverty. 
  • Senate funding for the "Academic Detailing" program, which provides drug prescribers with unbiased information about the cost and effectiveness of prescription drugs.  
  • A new Senate tax on flavored cigars -- which primarily are targeted at children. Revenue from the tax would go towards reducing tobacco use.

HCFA's policy team will continue advocating for our priorities through the end of the legislative session. And find out how you can take action to improve our health care system in Massachusetts.     

Celebrating 30 Years of Health Care For All

On Wednesday, April 15th, more than 500 supporters, friends, colleagues and volunteers came together at Boston's Westin Copley Place hotel to kick off Health Care For All's 30th Anniversary "For The People" Celebration.

HCFA honored Ari Haseotes, CEO of Cumberland Farms, for expanding health coverage to over 1,500 employees. The John Auerbach Community Leader Award went to the United Neighbors of Fitchburg for providing invaluable services to hundreds of new Americans.

See photos from the gala event!

Patient and Family Advisory Councils

The 3rd annual Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) Conference, "Celebrating the First Five Years and Looking to the Future," took place on May 12th in Worcester. Over 200 PFAC members from across the state, representing more than 60 hospitals and clinics, gathered for a day of learning, sharing and networking.
 
HCFA was pleased to honor Senator Richard T. Moore and Representative Denise Provost for their leadership in passing the Massachusetts PFAC mandate in 2008.

PFACs are patients, families and staff who work with a hospital or clinic to improve both patient care and the patient/family experience of care. HCFA believes that patients should be at the center of their care. PFACs give a voice to patients and their families and thereby improve the quality, affordability and accessibility of patient care.

Learn more about Patient and Family Advisory Councils in Massachusetts by reading our 2015 PFAC report.