A Healthy Blog

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

MA Health Reform

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 »

MA Submits Medicaid Waiver Request to Feds + Tidbits

The Romney Administration has submitted the formal application for a new Medicaid waiver to the feds. Federal approval is crucial to ensure the continuing flow of federal dollars to the state to finance the health reform program approved by the Legislature and Governor last month. For those so inclined, you can actually view the waiver documents by clicking here. We highly recommend viewing the PDF file attached to: Safety Net Care Pool Sources and Uses. To view the best part quickly, click here. Someone up there at the Executive Office of Health & Human Services has a sense of humor... Read more »

WSJ Tests US Interest in MA Health Reform

Today's Wall Street Journal contains results of national polling that tests US public support for the new MA health reform approach. Here's the proposal respondents were asked to rate: "Make it mandatory for every person to have health insurance. People with higher incomes who do not have coverage would be required to buy insurance, and the government would help to pay for insurance for those who cannot afford it." Strongly Favor 50% Mildly Favor 18% Feel Neutral 9% Mildly Oppose 9% Strongly Oppose 12% Not Sure 2% What's surprising? Details show Democrats and Independents like this more than... Read more »

MA Health Reform as National Model? Not in California

The California Health Care Foundation just released a report estimating a $9.4 billion cost to implement the MA health reform model in the Golden State, $1450 per uninsured resident. Not likely to be a winning formula. Click here for the study and here's the summary: In April 2006, Massachusetts became the first state to require all residents to obtain insurance. The plan has drawn national attention and sparked debate about whether a similar approach could work in California, which has 6.5 million uninsured residents—nearly 12 times the number in Massachusetts. Read more »

Kudos to House of Reps on Immigrant Health Care

In the midst of all the health reform veto overrides, let's take a minute to salute the House for overriding Gov. Romney's veto of restored health benefits for elderly and disabled legal immigrants (section 27). In this season of immigrant bashing, the House deserves thanks and praise for addressing this issue forthrightly and quickly. There were a lot of folks who worked very hard for this victory -- especially everyone involved in the MIRACLE coalition -- and most especially my big sister, Judy Meredith, who poured her heart and soul into this one. Here's Judy's on-the-scene report (names... 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 »

House Overrides 4 Health Reform Vetoes

The House this afternoon overwhelmingly overrode the Governor's veto of four sections of the health reform bill. Another four sections remain to be voted on. All Democrats voted to override . The 21 Republicans generally voted to sustain vetoes, though they were divided on restoration of dental and other benefits. Thank you, House. Please do it soon, Senate... The provisions overrode were: - Restoration of dental coverage, eyeglasses, and other benefits to adults on MassHealth (vote was 147-10) - The employer Fair Share assessment on businesses that don't provide coverage (vote was 135-20) -... Read more »

House Overrides Final 4 Health Reform Vetoes

Around 9pm, the House overrode the final four health reform vetoes by Gov. Romney. Brief SHN excerpts: HEALTH BILL - WAIVER NEGOTIATION INFORMATION: Question came on whether to override or sustain the governor's veto of section 112 health reform bill. Rep. Walrath said she hopes the veto is overridden. The governor vetoed this because he said it imposes inappropriate controls on the executive branch. The concern was the secrecy with which the administration conducted negotiations with the CMS. We weren't able to get the papers we needed, the type of information we needed. It was a detriment... Read more »

Mitt, Under Attack by Wall Street Journal, Defended by HCFA!

Today’s Wall Street Journal editorial page attacks Mitt Romney and the health reform bill for not changing our state’s private insurance laws, especially our law requiring "guaranteed issue." Here's their charge -- read and weep: MA Gov. Mitt Romney signed a bill recently that's being praised as a model for how to achieve "universal" health care. But while the governor claims his plan is market based, it does little to reform regulations that have made coverage in his state among the most expensive in the country. Read more »

Connect with C-SPAN, National Press Club Event on MA Health Reform

A fine summary of Tuesday's C-SPAN event in today's Kaiser Daily Briefing: Read more »

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