A Healthy Blog

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

MA Health Reform, Round Two, Starts Today (and remembering Elliot Stone)

MA Health Reform, Round Two, Starts Today (and remembering Elliot Stone)

April 6, 2005

Today, the pace of health reform picks up. Sen. Pres. Travaglini outlines his reform themes before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce this morning, with a press conference and plan release tomorrow (Thursday). Gov. Romney releases his plan this afternoon at a 1:30pm press conference, and will appear live at a Channel Five health care town meeting tonight between 7 and 8pm.

While both plans will contain new and interesting ideas, neither will go as far as the Moore/Blumer Health Access and Affordability Act, supported by the Mass. Health Reform Coalition. There will now be three major proposals before the Legislature's Health Care Financing Committee, whose job will be to report out their own plan drawn from elements of all three. A public hearing may occur within the next month.

What does all this mean? The stakes for reform are increasing, raising the likelihood something major will happen this year or next. The various ideas and details can be mind numbing -- the overall direction is positive.
On Monday, Elliot Stone, the executive director of the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium since its founding in 1978, died of cancer. I know, what could sound more boring than "Health Data Consortium"? But Elliot brought passion and purpose to his work, seeing technology as a means to improve the quality of care and the efficiency of our badly messed up health system. The organization that is his legacy is a rich source of innovation and inspiration. He was a gentle, earnest, and terrific human being who will be missed by all who knew him.