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

Health Care Politics

Boston Business Journal Hits Individual Mandate

Guess not all the business voices in the State are on the same page regarding the individual mandate. Here's an editorial from the June 16 Boston Business Journal: "Massachusetts continues to put more financial pressure on its next generation of workers. The state's new health care law -- unique in the nation -- that will require residents to have health insurance promises to impose a new burden on a small but significant slice of the younger population: those 22 to 35 who are struggling to gain a foothold in the local economy and prefer not to enroll in company plans or simply can't afford... Read more »

Michael Bloomberg, Mark Twain, Thunder and Lightening

Heard NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg speak last week at the Public Health Law Conference in Atlanta. In a word, wow. Clear, forthright, smart, gutsy. He quoted Mark Twain on thunder vs. lightening. "Thunder is good, thunder is impressive," wrote Twain, "...but lightening gets the job done." And so it is, MB suggests, with public health and the law. Voluntary, educational approaches to public health challenges are often good and impressive. But if you really want to change behavior to improve society, you need a form a lightening called "the law." MB was referring to his moves in NYC to ban... Read more »

H. Clinton and B. Obama on Malpractice: Worth Reading

This week's New England Journal of Medicine has an article by Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama attempting to create a progressive space on medical malpractice reform. I think their ideas and proposals deserve serious consideration. Click here for free access (thanks, NEJM for making this available). Read more »

Last Week's Gubernatorial Debate and Health Care

A late rumination on last week’s JFK School forum on jobs and the economy with four of the gubernatorial candidates. Once again, health care mentioned only slightly. Chris Gabrieli with his pitch for stem cell research money, and Tom Reilly on health care costs. Nothing from Deval Patrick or Christy Mihos – partly skewed by the luck of the draw in questions. Stem cells? OK. Offends no one except folks who won’t go near the Dems anyway. Health Costs? A strong argument can be made this is a crucial impediment to economic growth. Let’s give Tom Reilly credit as the only candidate now talking... Read more »

Reactions to Tom Reilly's Health Plan

AG and Gov. candidate Tom Reilly released his health platform back on April 27 and I've yet to see any media attention to it. While most voters ignore issue platforms, they represent the consensus opinion among a candidate's advisors, and indicate the candidate's comfort zone on an issue. In short, they matter. And because Tom Reilly is striking harder than anyone to identify the "sensible middle," his positions can be seen as a barometer of the current health care "center of gravity." So let's treat Tom Reilly's effort with respect and check it out. Click here to get access to the actual... Read more »

Disreputable Republican Congress Moves to Preempt State Insurance Consumer Protections

In this week's Newsweek, conservative columnist George Will openly wonders -- who are those 22% of the public who give the US Congress a positive job performance? I know who -- it's the crowd supporting the dangerous bill outlined below: Read more »

Family Feud: WSJ Hits Mitt Yet Again

Boy, those Wall Street Journal editorial writers can't stop whacking Mitt Romney on the MA health reform law. Here's today's contribution: Mitt's Non-Miracle Well, that didn't take long. Only two weeks ago Massachusetts passed an experiment in compulsory, subsidized health insurance, and already it's turning into an employer mandate and a vehicle for increasing the role of government. Last week the Democrat-controlled Massachusetts legislature began moving in just that direction, overriding all of the line-item vetoes that Republican Governor Mitt Romney had cast in an effort to give the... Read more »

Darn! We Criticize Romney Again...

Just when we were so proud of ourselves for agreeing with Mitt (see Monday's post on guaranteed issue), here we go again! Read and weep in today's Kaiser Daily Briefing: Read more »

Questions Not Asked in the Gubernatorial Debate

Watching this morning's Democratic gubernatorial debate, couldn't help notice, not a word about health care or the new health reform law. I know Jon Keller invited questions and I failed to respond, better late than never and maybe next time: 1. According the legislative estimates, the new health reform law will begin operating in a deficit by FY2009, a landmark the next governor will reach 18 months into your term. Are you committed to full implementation so everyone in the state has access to quality, affordable coverage within three years? 2. Even business leaders suggest that the $295... Read more »

See Who Likes the New MA Health Reform Law...

Read between the lines and see a notable point of agreement between Shalala and Thompson (from today's Kaiser Daily Briefing): Read more »

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