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Health Care Politics

December 6th Rally Against Romney's 9C Cuts

A growing group of organizations representing health, human services, labor, and environmental concerns are joining together to urge the legislature to overturn Governor Romney's 9C cuts. The key event will be a rally at the State House on Wednesday, December 6 from 11:00 to 2:00. Details and a Flyer for the event will follow. If you want to endorse the Campaign, participate in the Rally, and keep updated, send contact information to: Public Policy Institute: Judy Meredith, judy@realclout.org, (617) 275-2923, or Yawu Miller, yawu@realclout.org, (617) 275-2918 or Neighbor to Neighbor /... Read more »

Is This Our Future -- or Our Past?

Today's New York Times reports on early maneuverings involving the newly forming administration of New York's Gov-elect Eliot Spitzer and the powerhouse political alliance in the NYS health system -- SEIU 1199 and the Greater New York Hospital Association. Looks as though New York State -- due to looming budget problems -- is getting ready for some significant reshaping of its health care landscape, and that reshaping chiefly will involve hospital closings and downsizings. Read more »

Eric Does the Right Thing -- Now about those 9C Cuts

So yesterday's Globe reports that Romney's Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom has resigned his position as a member of the Brookline Housing Authority three days after the Globe reported that Romney's lame duck appointment would have provided Eric with a huge pension bonanza. Right thing to do. Good move. Now how about backing off the egregious budget cuts announced by the Governor on November 10th? Don't stop now, you're on a roll! Read more »

Dept. of Moral Outrage: 9C, Mitt, and Eric

As evidence grows of the harsh impact of Gov. Romney's 9C cuts across health and human services, today we learn that the chief public defender (perhaps the only one) of the Governor's bad behavior has received a juicy and unmerited patronage plum from the same governor, thus qualifying him for a public pension of at least $48K per year when he retires. See Frank Phillips article today for the gory details. One of the worst sins in public life is hypocrisy. Act holier-than-thou, put yourself on a pedestal, and when the final moment arrives, you're as grubby as the worst of them. Shame.... Read more »

Deval Patrick's Health Transition Team

Good group. Here it is: Chair, Tom Glynn, COO, Partners Health Care Chair, Cleve Killingsworth, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Chair, Jim Hunt, President and CEO, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers Dr. Margarita Alegria, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research Cambridge Health Alliance Carol Dilliplane, CNO/Vice President, Patient Care Services, Jordan Hospital Charlie Goheen, Vice President and CFO, Fallon Community Health Plan Phil Johnston, Chairman of the Board, Mass Health Policy Forum Melissa Shannon, Policy... Read more »

9C Mental Health Cuts -- Where's the Governor?

This just in from our friends at MA Hospital Association. Gov. Romney's got all the time to rally around banning gay marriage and doesn't have time to say a word about this? What's wrong with this guy? Department of Mental Health Commissioner Beth Childs has just informed MHA that, effective Wednesday, November 22, 2006, DMH will no longer accept inpatient admissions to any state DMH hospital or unit. In addition, DMH will restrict access to its residential programs. The Commissioner indicated that this action is being taken due to Governor Romney’s recent 9C cuts to the DMH budget. This... Read more »

Surprise, Suprise: US Employers Agree -- All Should Pay for Worker Health Insurance

Well, whaddya know. Regular Healthly Blog readers know (because we keep telling you) that two thirds of MA residents think all employers should contribute to the cost of health insurance for their workers (65%, 67%, 69%, and yesterday's Blue Cross study -- 70%). Today we see a new study by the Center for Studying Health System Change, a national survey of 2995 employers. Guess what? Despite fast-rising health care costs, employers that offer health benefits to their workers say they are committed to the current employer-based health insurance system. According to new survey findings, two-... Read more »

$425 Million -- Lots of Cuts to Health Services

As we wondering in last Saturday's posting, does Gov. Romney have a budget suprise for the Commonwealth post-election? Yup. Gov. Romney today used his 9C powers to unilaterally cut $425 million from this year's state budget. As he noted in his press conference, Gov. Deval Patrick beginning on Jan. 4 can use his 9C powers to restore any of these cuts. Click here for the full list. Some key items and categories that caught our attention: Read more »

Romney Cuts $425M

This just in from State House News Service. Unclear which cuts affect health programs and health reform -- though pretty sure there's money affecting hospitals, health centers, and nursing homes in the mix. More to come. Read more »

MA State and Local Taxes -- We're #43

The always excellent Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MBPC) today released the 2006 edition of its annual report, Measuring Up: Taxes and Spending in Massachusetts, an analysis of revenue and expenditure data for state and local governments collected by the U.S. Census Bureau for Fiscal Year 2004, the latest year for which such data are available. The report finds that state and local taxes equaled 10.4% of personal income in the Commonwealth in FY04, ranking 32nd out of the 50 states and below the overall national level of 10.7%. Further, the report finds that the state's "own-source... Read more »


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