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Health Care Politics

Sen. Moore Releases Health Priorities

Sen. Dick Moore, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, has released a document detailing his legislative priorities for 2007-08. Lots of interesting and new ideas. Worthy of a good read. Click here for the document. Read more »

Dr. JudyAnn Bigby Named Sect. of Health & Human Services

Gov. Deval Patrick has named Dr. JudyAnn Bigby to be his Secretary of Health & Human Services. Dr. Bigby is an internist at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston (she is Mayor Tom Menino's personal physician), where she is also medical director of the Center for Perinatal and Family Health. She is also faculty member at Harvard Medical School where she serves as director of the Harvard Medical School Center of Excellence in Women's Health. She has a long history of working in behalf of the medically underserved; she's a long time leader in efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic... Read more »

Save the Date -- 3/30/07 -- HCFA's Annual Policy Organizing Conference

A new Administration, a new Legislative session, health reform implementation in full swing, and so much more. We hope we will be inviting key policy makers from the Patrick Administration. Please save the date for HCFA's Annual Policy & Organizing Conference! “New Challenges, New Opportunities,” the 2007 conference will take place on March 30th at the Doubletree Hotel in Westborough, MA. Health reform implementation will be a key topic of the conference, and we’re excited to share information about the work we are doing together. We hope you will save the date and invite coworkers and... Read more »

Seniors and People with Disabilities at Risk of Losing a Critical Emergency Drug Coverage

On 12/31/06, the emergency drug coverage that provides crucial access to prescription drugs for many MA residents will expire unless the Legislature steps in and extends the coverage. With the introduction of Medicare Part D, dual-eligibles and Prescription Advantage-eligible individuals are required to get drug coverage through Medicare drug plans. For many people the transition to Medicare drug coverage has not been smooth. The state’s emergency coverage provides a 30-day supply of prescription drugs to individuals who are incorrectly barred from accessing prescription drugs when they... Read more »

Tidbits from Today's Deval Patrick Press Conference

Excerpts from State House News Service account of Gov. Elect Devel Patrick's press conference today that caught our attention: At a downtown press conference introducing Massport CFO Leslie Kirwan as his budget chief, Patrick also warned that he can’t find a surplus in his budget reviews, and looked to tamp down the notion discussed during the campaign that the state is running a surplus. “There was a lot of talk during the campaign about a budget surplus. I don’t see that budget surplus, I am looking hard to see where the – not just for the surplus, but to see where the flexibilities are,... Read more »

State Improves Web Presence

The state pushed out a nice improvement in the look-and-feel of state websites yesterday. More color, rotating graphics, tabs, and few other improvements make the experience more pleasant. It’s hardly web 2.0, but it moves the sites from 1.3 to maybe 1.5 or so. Read more »

New MA Health Blogger

He started last October, and I just found out. Please welcome to the world of MA health policy blogging Micky Tripathi, CEO of the Mass. eHealth Collaborative. It's called the MAeHC Blog, and yesterday's post addresses yesterday's NYTimes article exploring the fast expanding world of electronic health records. Micky is now one of the smartest people in the nation on this issue, so we welcome his insights as this arena develops, and we welcome him to the not-so-fast expanding world of health policy blogging in Massachusetts. By my count, Micky's is now the fourth health policy blogsite in... Read more »

Patrick / Murray Health Transition Update

The Health Care Working Group for the Patrick/Murray Transition is organizing three Community Meetings to discuss health care and the new Administration: Tuesday, December 5th from 4-6 in Boston Dimock Community Health Center, Roxbury Wednesday, December 6th from 6-8pm in Plymouth Radisson Hotel, Mayflower Room Thursday, December 7th from 10:00am-12:00pm in Springfield Springfield Technical College, Scibelli Hall, Building 2, Theatre Here are the group's principles in their own words: PRINCIPLES GUIDING THE HEALTHCARE WORKING GROUP • Full implementation of health care reform as a critical... Read more »

Tough Talk from Sen. Murray on 9C Cuts

Senate Ways and Means Chair Therese Murray does not pull her punches in a statement issued today on Gov. Romney's 9C budget cuts: Governor Romney made a decision on November 10, 2006 that negatively impacted the lives of thousands of people in the Commonwealth. It is clear from his actions that Governor Romney intends on leaving the state at a significant economic disadvantage as he walks out the doors of the State House in about a month. One can only surmise that Governor Romney’s motive in making the 9C cuts is to provide leverage for a political campaign in which he can claim that he... Read more »

Politics and the Public Health Council

Ginny Buckingham writes in today's Herald about the fight -- now before the MA Supreme Judicial Court -- on who gets to appoint the members of the State's Public Health Council. Old version -- the Governor appoints all nine. New version approved in last April's health reform law -- all 18 are named by outside organizations such as the MA Medical Society, the MA Public Health Association, the MA Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors, and -- yes -- Health Care For All. For the record, no one asked us if we wanted this responsibility, though we're happy to comply. The legal issue is... Read more »

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