A Healthy Blog

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

Health Care Politics

FY19 Health Care Budget Priorities

The Massachusetts Senate recently approved their version of the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) state budget. The Senate version and the House version must now be reconciled through negotiation between the two chambers. Health Care For All (HCFA) has a number of budget priorities related to health care that have made it this far and should continue on to the final budget. To find HCFA’s full FY19 Conference Committee letter with detailed explanations of our positions, please click here. You can find summaries of each budget priority that HCFA supports below: Read more »

DPH Releases Latest Serious Medical Errors Report

The MA Department of Public Health last week released its most recent set of data on Serious Reportable Events (sometimes called “never events”). Read more »

MassBudget Study: Positive Health Effects of Earned Income Tax Credit

In the worlds of health care policy and delivery, there is increasing recognition that addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) –access to nutritious foods, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, dependable transportation, well-paying jobs and safety from violence—is essential to improving health outcomes, containing health care costs and addressing health inequities across race and income. In other words, health care is about even more than having insurance coverage and receiving traditional medical care.    The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) recently... Read more »

FY19 Health Care Senate Budget Amendments Review

Just last week, the Massachusetts Senate released their budget proposal for fiscal year 2019, which begins on July 1 of this year. Senators will be debating and voting on many amendments in the short term, including a number of important health care related amendments.  HCFA is supporting a number of amendments that will improve access to affordable and quality health care coverage; there are also some proposed amendments we oppose that would move our state backwards. With debate in the Senate starting, it is critical that your Senator knows how constituents feel about these critical health... Read more »

FY19 Health Care Budget Amendments Review

On April 23, the Massachusetts House of Representatives will begin voting on the state’s budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins on July 1 of this year. Representatives will consider 1400 amendment proposed by Representatives, including a number of important health-care related amendments. HCFA is supporting a number of amendments that will improve access to affordable and quality health care coverage; there are also some proposed amendments we oppose that would move us backwards. With debate in the House starting, it is crucial that your Representative knows how constituents feel about... Read more »

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS): MA Taskforce Report Offers Path to Advancing Parent and Infant Health

This blog was originally published on Community Catalyst’s blog Health Policy Hub Read more »

Watch Obama's Speech To Feel Good About Health Reform (and read Senator Kennedy's letter to feel moved)

President Obama spoke on Tuesday about health reform. In part, it probably was an attempt to get ahead of the upcoming Supreme Court decision, and in part an opportunity to reflect on the progress we've made and set the record straight. If you have the time, and want to feel good about health reform, it's worth watching the whole thing; if you don't want to watch, we've posted some highlights below for you to read.:   Read more »

House Announces Committee Assignments

Today the Massachusetts House of Representatives approved its committee chairs and members for the new legislative session. That big boom you just heard was the starting gun for the legislative process. Among the new chairs is Boston Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, who will co-lead the Health Care Financing Committee. This committee considers all bills concerning MassHealth, the Health Connector, other program such as the Health Safety Net, and delivery system reforms. It also takes a second look at many health care-related bills first approved by other committees. It has been called the "... Read more »

Congratulations, Marylou

We were so pleased to learn today that incoming Governor Charlie Baker has selected Marylou Sudders to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services (for details, see this State House News Service story). Marylou and HCFA go back a long way, through our work together on children's health for over a decade, her 7-year service as Commissioner of Mental Health from 1996-2003, and our more recent work with her as a member of the Health Policy Commission. She brings enormous experience with state care systems, a very expansive empathy for the people the EOHHS agencies serve, and an openness to... Read more »

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