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

Massachusetts Budget

HCFA Opposes MassHealth Cuts in Governor's Proposed FY 2017 Budget

On Wednesday, Governor Baker released his proposed state budget for fiscal year 2017, which begins on July 1, 2016. While the budget provides for an approximate 5% growth rate for MassHealth spending, administration officials had projected that total MassHealth expenditures would rise around 8% next year, due to increases in the caseload and medical inflation. As a result, the budget calls for spending cuts in a number of areas, and freezes in many reimbursement rates. Read more »

Report - CHIP Critical To Kids' Health in Massachusetts (and the state budget)

Coverage for 130,000 children and pregnant women. A $166 million hole in the state budget. Those are the stakes for Massachusetts in the upcoming Congressional vote to extend federal funding for the CHIP program. Read more »

HCFA Launches I ♡ MassHealth Campaign

Join the I ♡ MassHealth Campaign! Sharing people’s stories is a compelling way to demonstrate the importance of the MassHealth program and make complex health care policies easier for people to understand and relate to. Today, we are launching the I Heart MassHealth campaign. We are collecting statements and photos that bring to life why MassHealth is a critical program for the health of millions of the Commonwealth’s residents. Here's what you can do to particpate: Read more »

#MassHealth Matters, Part 1: The Must See Video, and Infographic

Today the Massachusetts Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and its Mass Medicaid Policy Institute held a packed forum titled, MassHealth Matters: Priorities for the New Administration. The focus of the event was the release of a report identifying five priority issues for improving MassHealth in the coming administration, followed by a panel discussion on the issues raised. We'll have a summary of the report up later, but we wanted to first highlight this amazing video below, and an infographic that illustrates the crucial role played by MassHealth. Please watch this video (click here to watch... Read more »

We're Still The One: Mass Leads Nation in Coverage

Today the Census Bureau released its annual insurance coverage data, covering 2013 The Mass Budget and Policy Center has the results: We still lead the nation in coverage. Their conclusions: Read more »

Not For Wonks Only: House/Senate Budgets Comparison

The Mass Medicaid Policy Institute released its latest budget analysis comparing the FY 2015 House and Senate budgets for MassHealth and health reform programs. The analysis, prepared with the Mass Law Reform Institute and the Mass Budget and Policy Center, goes deep into the details now being hashed out by the House-Senate Conference Committee on the state budget for the upcoming year. The report highlights two differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget that we're particularly focused on: Read more »

Closing North Adams Hospital - A Thought Experiment (UPDATED)

(AP photo) Here's a thought experiment prompted by the closing of North Adams Regional Hospital: Read more »

Wonk Alert: Health Reform Trust Fund Primer

Wonks, start your salivating. This is the real thing. How good is this?: Read more »

Happy Fiscal New Year! House, Senate Send FY 2014 Budget to Governor, With Some Good News for MassHealth Dental Coverage

Today the House and Senate sent to the Governor the FY 2014 budget (giant pdf), which  was filed by the joint conference committee late last night. Any minute now, we'll get a detailed report from our friends at the Mass Budget and Policy Center, and we'll post a link and any updates as they do their analysis. (Update: their analysis is here) But we were smiling when we turned first to the Medicaid line items. Smiling, of course, because the final budget includes $17.2 million to restore coverage for dental fillings for adults in the MassHealth program. These funds should allow the MassHealth... Read more »

DOMA Decision Impacts Health Insurance, State Budget

Today's Supreme Court decision holding part of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional will have a number of impacts on health insurance eligibility and costs for same-sex married couples. It also might impact the state budget. Attorney General Martha Coakley quickly put together today a FAQ page, at mass.gov/doma looking at many of these issues. It includes analysis and answers to questions like: Read more »

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