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Massachusetts Budget

House Budget: Good News/Bad News/Good News

Some items from day 2 of the House budget debate and votes on amendments: Read more »

House Begins Budget Debate - Call Your Representative to Protect Our Health

If it’s the week after April school vacation, then this is the week for the Massachusetts House to consider amendments to its version of the budget for the next fiscal year (resources: comprehensive House budget summary from Mass Budget and Policy Center and summary of the health provisions (pdf) from Mass Medicaid Policy Institute). The budget debate is expected to take all week, and most years the health-related amendments don’t come up until near the end of the debate. Read more »

House Budget Analysis

The House budget debate starts up next Monday. We'll be posting our detailed take on the proposed amendments (there are 758! - list here) soon, but in the meantime the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute (MMPI) has published an overview of the health provisions, produced by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center in partnership with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. The 3-page report is here (pdf), and it includes a wealth of detail on the assumptions and cuts included in the House Ways and Means proposal, which will be the starting place for the debate next week. Bottom lines... Read more »

Statement from Health Care For All Regarding the FY 2012 House Budget Proposal

[The FY 2012 House budget proposal eliminates all funding for the Commonwealth Care Bridge program, which covers some 20,000 legal immigrants, and continues to limit dental benefits for 700,000 adults in the MassHealth program. HCFA will be working with our friends in the House to file amendments on these concerns. The budget also includes devastating cuts to public health; see the MPHA statement for more details. As always, the Mass Budget and Policy Center has the best instant analysis. In conjunction with the Mass Medicaid Policy Institute, they will have more detailed work-up of the... Read more »

Congressman Ryan's Republican Budget: The Numbers are Disasterous

Imagine the current fiscal crisis, which has battered the state budget, extended for years and years to come. Imagine the current budget crisis getting worse and worse over time. That's what Congressman Paul Ryan's Republican budget would do to Massachusetts. We blogged earlier about the US House Republican budget, how it would be a disaster for America, and worse for Massachusetts. A new analysis (pdf) tracks the fiscal impact on health care programs in Massachusetts. The numbers confirm our worse fears. Read more »

Ways and Means Hears From Admin Officials on Health Programs

The House and Senate Ways and Means Committees held their budget hearing on health programs this morning, and heard testimony from Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, and the state Medicaid Director, Terry Dougherty. In her testimony Secretary Bigby emphasized that the EOHHS will maintain its commitment to providing services and support to the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable, despite budget cuts. Secretary Bigby noted that the Governor’s plan will maintain a commitment to advancing health reform, finding savings through re-procurement... Read more »

Budget Part II - MassHealth Cuts Puzzlement

[This is our second report on the Governor's FY 12 budget proposal. Our earlier entry looked at public health.] The Governor released his recommended FY 2012 budget yesterday, and saving money in health care programs, particularly MassHealth, was a major focus. The budget is accompanied by detailed information from the administration (see the main budget page with links to everything). There are two somewhat overlapping budget policy papers from the administration, here and here. Together they start to explicate the administration’s take on health care in the budget. Read more »

FY 12 Budget I: Public Health: "a serious error in judgment"

[Note - We're going to cover yesterday's release by Governor Patrick of the FY2012 budget recommendations in two blog posts. This entry focuses on the cuts to public health] The startling statement from Senator Richard Moore, chair of the Health Care Financing Committee, is stark and pointed: What is surprising in this budget proposal though is the 'penny-wise, pound foolish' cuts in public health prevention and other health accounts that save money and, most importantly, save lives. If our goal is to cut health costs - and indeed it is – then we must continue the fight for infection... Read more »


The Senate will be making another attempt to extend enhanced FMAP (federal Medicaid reimbursement; background) on Monday (UPDATE: see below). The additional funds are critical for Massachusetts. Among the many programs dependent on FMAP is coverage for legal immigrants. Without these funds, we know additional cuts will need to be made to state health programs. Senator Scott Brown is a critical swing vote. Please contact Senator Brown today to urge him to stand for the Commonwealth by supporting the FMAP extension. Monday evening UPDATE: The vote has been postponed to later this week. Please... Read more »

Too Much For One Blog Post? We Think Not

There’s so much health policy news today, that we’re tempted to post 6 different items. They’re all important. But rather than overwhelm, we’ll try some brief-ish summaries of a bunch of things that all exploded today. We apologize for the length, but how else can we be your source of The Ultimate Massachusetts Health Care Insider InformationTM without all this? So click on for our take today on the budget vetoes, immigrant coverage, insurance gaming study, hospital use, employers who don't provide coverage, waiver renewal and more. Read more »


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