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

Massachusetts Budget

Legislature Moving Towards Partial Legal Immigrant Funding. What's Next?

The State House was up late tonight, as the legislature worked on a supplemental funding bill that funds a number of items vetoed by the Governor, including adding partial funding for legal immigrants eligible for Commonwealth Care. The final bill passed around 11:30 tonight. Explanatory materials distributed by the House today are here, and the original bill as filed is here. Read more »

Protect Health Coverage for 30,000 Massachusetts Residents!

30,000 legal immigrants are at risk of losing their Commonwealth Care coverage. These residents are our neighbors, our family members, our friends and our co-workers who are lawfully residing, working, and paying taxes in this state. The loss of health insurance coverage will harm the health of these individuals, our health care providers - especially our already-strained safety net providers - and our entire state economy, which benefits from the productivity of these residents in our workforce. We must ACT NOW! Call your State Senator and Representative to urge them to maintain Commonwealth... Read more »

Budget Overrides Start Tuesday

The legislature begins its consideration of budget overrides and amendments on Tuesday. The top issue will be Governor Patrick's proposed compromise for the coverage of legal immigrants. The Governor has accepted the legislature's decision to find savings everywhere, even in the health care for low-income people who are fully eligible for assistance. His proposal reflects the fiscal reality the state is faced with, and includes funds from new federal enhanced reimbursements. However, much of the savings claimed by the legislature are illusory. Read more »

Governor Opens Up Health Budget

Kudos to the Governor and the Administration and Finance staff for the very informative "Health Care Policy Brief" issued along with the budget signing and vetoes today. The document has full details of the spending levels approved for MassHealth, Commonwealth Care and the Health Safety Net. For the wonks among us, there are detailed spending charts and savings assumptions. It also explains the administration's reasoning behind the proposal for the legal immigrants proposed to be cut from Commonwealth Care. Read more »

The Budget and the Pen

The Governor took out his metaphorical veto pen today as he approved the state's budget for fiscal year 2010. Saying, "Health care for all means health care for all," at his press conference, the Governor proposed partially reversing the proposed cut to some 30,000 legal immigrants (listen Governor Patrick budget statement. Read more »

Conference Committee Budget Eliminates Legal Immigrant Coverage

Filed last night, section 121 of the Conference Committee budget for FY10 removes coverage for 28,000 legal immigrants in Commonwealth Care (budget language; House-Senate comparison). The language offers them a mere 30 days noticing before termination. If you've been reading our blog in the past few weeks, you know the many reasons for maintaining coverage for these folks. And if you're new to our site - welcome - here's a few: Read more »

Make the Call - Support Alcohol Taxes For Public Health

Please call your representative about the alcohol tax in the conference budget. The Senate included a provision closing the alcohol exclusion loophole in the sales tax. The funds collected would be dedicated to a number of public health programs. Without these resources, public health funding falls further behind again. Rep. Liz Malia and Rep. Marty Walsh have drafted a letter in support of the alcohol tax to the Speaker and Ways and Means Chair Murphy – and we want other Representatives to sign on. Here's the text: We the undersigned members of the House fully support, and urge that you... Read more »

Bad News is Good News, and Why We Should Not Exempt Alcohol: Budget Conference Starts

The budget is everything in state government, even in good years. This year it's the entire universe. The House and Senate budget conferees have started their work, and Governor Patrick submitted his revised budget to the legislature. Now we must continue our efforts to make sure that Massachusetts continues to make progress on better health and health coverage for everyone. Read more »

New Blog Tracks MA Budget Process

An old friend and colleague has a blog focusing on the Massachusetts budget process. Lots of juicy stuff here, for those of us who care about the numbers and the politics. You can read it here: massbudget.blogspot.com.Brian Rosman Read more »

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