A Healthy Blog

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

MA Health Reform

Health Reform Implementation: Let Us Now Praise the Romney Administration

Regular readers will recognize our non-reticence in taking the Romney Administration to task whenever we think they're wrong. So let's give credit where credit it due. Today, Dep. Medicaid Director Stephanie Anthony gave a presentation at the Blue Cross Foundation on executive branch implementation of health reform (Chapter 58). Bottom line -- lots and lots of difficult implementation challenges and the professionals at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services are doing a darn good job keeping this huge challenge on track. Click here for the powerpoint presentation on Chapter 58... Read more »

Health Wonk Review #7 -- and a Review of Right Wing Blogs on MA Health Reform

The new Health Wonk Review is up and available, full of links to lots of interesting commentary and perspective on recent developments in the parallel universe of heath policy. Click here to reach it. Favorite entry: a website called the Lucidicus project ("Selected Writings on Capitalism in Medicine" -- from a pro-capitalist perspective) provides a useful overview of conservative critiques of MA health reform. Its thesis -- because MA reform was bipartisan, commentary avoids the stale Democratic/Republican dichotomy and actually focuses on the opposing world views of free market forces: "The... Read more »

Teens Win One at the State House for Mental Health

Today, HCFA’s youngest coalition got their first taste of legislative victory. Teens Leading The Way has been working since February 2005 on legislation to establish teen mental health drop-in centers. The teens reported that their friends were suffering in silence, and that even parents often did not find out about mental health issues until a dramatic problem such as drug abuse or self-inflicted injury brought them to light. Since young people are often afraid of the stigma attached to mental illness, they thought it best to bring mental health services to places they already feel safe,... Read more »

High Deductibles -- Not Such Good News

The business page in today’s Globe features a Jeff Krasner story on high deductible health plans, predicting MA health reform will increase the availability of these plans in Massachusetts to the cheers of insurers and state officials. The consumer perspective was not presented in the article, so we’ll give it to you here. Read more »

Senate Budget Makes Further Progress

Today the Senate Ways and Means Committee release their budget proposal for fiscal year 2007 (which starts July 1, 2006). Health advocates were pleased that the budget fully funds the health reform initiatives and includes a number of other important provisions. A summary of the budget from the Committee as well as the language of the line items and outside sections are online here. The Mass Budget and Policy Center issued their preliminary analysis this afternoon. The full Senate will consider the budget starting next Wednesday. Amendments are due by this Friday. Health Reform Funding... Read more »

MA Health Reform -- DC Briefing -- Transcript Now Available

Mentioned on Tuesday's posting the most interesting forum in DC on Monday sponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform and Kaiser Family Foundation. For those interested who don't want to sit and watch the two hour session, you can now obtain a transcript by clicking here. Read more »

DC Forum on MA Health Reform Is Worth Watching

On Monday, the Alliance for Health Reform and the Kaiser Family Foundation sponsored a Capitol Hill forum in DC on the MA health reform law. Speakers were MA Health & Human Services Secretary Tim Murphy, Partners Healthcare President Dr. Jim Mongan, and Ed Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation. Channel surfing last night after the Daily Show, hit C-SPAN, and guess what? There's Tim Murphy on my TV. OK, my wife Jan thinks I'm really nuts, but I'm up until 2am watching it. My review -- if you're into MA health reform, pro or con, it's essential watching. Murphy, Mongan, and Haislmaier were... Read more »

Health Reform Taking Shape -- 1st Appointments to Connector

Last week, AG Tom Reilly named his three appointees to the Health Insurance Connector created by Chapter 58, the new health reform law. The Connector has critical responsibilities in the implementation of health reform, including determining "affordability" under the individual mandate and determining levels of insurance subsidies. Reilly got to name three persons and his picks are -- in our judgment -- uniformly good, and a positive sign there will be a critical mass of board members who are committed to fair and effective implementation. Chip Joffe Halpern founded and runs a program in... Read more »

Two New Commentaries on MA Health Reform

Two interesting and thoughtful analyses of the MA health reform law: First, Len Nichols, director of the Health Policy Program at the New American Foundation has written "Health Reform Massachusetts Style: Ink Blot Test And Example for Us All." Click here. Read more »

Senate (Thank You!) Overrides 6 of 8 Romney Health Reform Vetoes

This afternoon, the State Senate overrode 6 of Gov. Romney's 8 health reform line item vetoes. They would have overridden all 8, but Republican Leader Brian Lees used a delay tactic to move consideration of these to the next session. The two not overridden -- 1. restoration of MassHealth eligibility for elderly and disabled legal immigrants; and 2. legislative participation in federal waiver renewal discussions with Romney administration and feds. Overridden were: the $295 business assessment, restoration of MassHealth dental and other benefits, no changes to the MassHealth mental health... Read more »


Subscribe to MA Health Reform