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

Romney Names a New Health & Human Services Secretary

Romney Names a New Health & Human Services Secretary

July 7, 2005

Gov. Romney today named Tim Murphy to replace Ron Preston as his H&HS Secretary. Here's an except from the official press release:

"Murphy is the Director of Policy in the Governor’s Office, working on education, job stimulus and transportation agendas, and has been more recently focused on the Governor’s health care reform efforts. As the Governor’s point person for health care policy, Murphy is working closely with hospital, business and government leaders in reforming the health care market to make insurance more affordable and widely available to all citizens. Prior to this position, Murphy was the Director of Capital in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, where he advised on capital investment, managed the state’s annual $1.3 billion capital budget and worked with the Office of Treasurer to oversee the Commonwealth’s debt program. Before joining the Romney Administration, Murphy was a Vice President in the Investment Banking Division of J.P. Morgan in New York City. He advised and raised capital for both for-profit and not-for-profit clients, including hospitals. He also served as a legislative aide and budget analyst for the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means from 1989 to 1992. "Tim Murphy is one of the brightest, most capable people I know," said former Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Patricia McGovern. "Tim's selection as Secretary is a testament to his keen intellect, hard work and ability to get things done. Tim is a problem solver. His blend of private and public sector experience will bring a fresh perspective to the Secretariat. In addition, his ability to listen and work with Republicans, Democrats, providers, advocates and insurers is a positive step to achieve healthcare reform this year."

Murphy's most public exposure came recently when he publicly criticized hospitals in May for not pursuing payments from uninsured patients more aggressively. He has been a key architect of Gov. Romney's personal responsibility and individual mandate health insurance proposal. This is a key position with huge consequences for the health and human services systems in Massachusetts. We wish Tim well, and we'll be watching closely.