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Health Care Politics

Christy Mihos and the "Secret" Connector Meeting

Tonight's gubernatorial debate from Springfield, it's Christy Mihos' turn to ask a question of the others. I wasn't taking notes, so pardon my reconstruction: The Connector Board, set up under the MA health reform law, will be holding a secret meeting in late October, completely in violation of Massachusetts' open meeting law, making decisions in secret. I'm going to show up at the meeting and open it to the public. Will you join me? Those of you who have followed our extensive accounts of all Connector Board meetings will remember that the Connector Board scheduled a "retreat" for late... Read more »

Today’s Launch of Commonwealth Care

Let’s deal with the bizarre story in today’s Globe in another post. Today at a press event at the Neponset Health Center in Dorchester, Governor Romney and guests recognized an important milestone in Massachusetts health reform. Today, enrollment opened for uninsured adults with incomes under 100% of the federal poverty line, or about $9,800. An estimated 50,000 uninsured individuals will qualify for affordable, quality coverage beginning on November 1. In January, uninsured folks with incomes between 101% and 300% fpl will be able to enroll for coverage beginning on February 1. We know... Read more »

Hope Springs Eternal -- Citizens Health Care Working Group Reports

Click here to get the executive summary of final report from the Citizens Health Care Working Group. The creation of the Group was authorized in 2003 by Congress in the Medicare Modernization Act. The Group has been working like crazy for 18 months to come up with consensus recommendations on reforming the US health care system. What's not to like? Nothing from what we see. Good process involving feedback from thousands of ordinary Americans. Solid recommendations for universal coverage, cost control, and quality improvement. Will it make a difference? Who the heck knows? They deserve... Read more »

Kerry Healy Releases a Health Agenda (sort of): II -- Is That All There Is?

So, let's ponder larger questions related to Kerry Healey's new health agenda (5 out of 50 "tough smart solutions"...) First, if this is all she has to offer on health care, we should all pull a Dickens on her: "please ma'am, we want some more..." Cuz these five underwhelm in contrast with the scope of health system problems facing the Commonwealth. Let's hope the LG has more up her sleeve than these meager pickins. Second, hmmmm, nothing to say about Massachusetts health reform (Chapter 58). Nothing? Gov. Romney's premiere legislative accomplishment. A major challenge for the next... Read more »

Kerry Healy Releases a Health Agenda (sort of): I

Today, MA LG and Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Kerry Healey released 50 “Tough Smart Solutions to Change Massachusetts.” Click here to view. As her first set of detailed policy proposals, we were curious which ones related to health care. Five deal with health care and five deal with beating up on illegal immigrants. Read more »

New National Blog on Uninsured and Access

Check out the new National Health Partnership Blog by clicking here. It's put together by our friends at the Universal Health Care Action Network in Ohio, a meeting and information exchange ground for state folks looking to expand health care access. It's an ecumenical bunch, not wedded to the perfect way, looking at any and all approaches to moving us forward. Nice job, and already full of some interesting and useful posts. Welcome to the fray! Read more »

Health Law Advocates Annual Breakfast 11-8-06

HCFA's non-profit health law firm, Health Law Advocates, will host their annual breakfast on Wednesday, November 8 from 7:30 to 9:30am at the Sheraton Boston Grand Ballroom. Keynote speaker is writer, journalist Calvin Trillin, author of A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme. In case you didn't notice, the event will take place the morning after election day so, win or lose (depending on your choice) this will be THE place to celebrate or commiserate. HLA raises more than half it's annual budget at this event, so it goes to a great cause, and everyone has a great time. So... Read more »

Gov. Candidates on Health Care

Great set of interviews posted by Commonwealth Magazine with all six gubernatorial candidates on all major issues. Click here for the full set. At the top of each candidate's interview, you can click "health care" and go right to that section. Here are some selections we found interesting: Chris Gabrieli: I don’t believe we’ve called on enough from employers. ... To me, a larger employer being told that $295 a year is all your fair share, a 15th of the cost of a health care plan, doesn’t strike me as right. I don’t understand why if you can afford more if you’re making more as an individual... Read more »

Dem. Gov. Candidates Open Up on Healthcare

Kudos to the Globe and Liz Kowalczyk for today's story exploring the positions of the three Democratic gubernatorial candidates on health care issues facing the state. To my knowledge, this is the first time the candidates have gone on the record in such a detailed fashion beyond their own position papers. So what's the news? Not that much. Lots of good -- and safe -- ideas that will avoid getting anyone upset. The one clear difference between all three Dems and Rep. Kerry Healey involves over-the-counter sales of hypodermic needles to stem HIV transmission. Will this be a hot button... Read more »

MA Health Reform Influences Ohio Gov's Race

It's not hard to see the influence the MA health reform law is having in the Ohio gubernatorial campaign. Just check out the editorial from Sunday's Akron Beacon Journal. Democratic Candidate (and Congressman) Ted Strickland proposes an Ohio Healthcare Exchange, to bring together small businesses and private insurers to design low-cost health-care packages that would be available to all uninsured Ohioans. Participation would be voluntary. Low-income families earning up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level would get help paying the premiums. The exchange, costing $550 million over two... Read more »

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