A Healthy Blog

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

MassHealth/Medicaid

Governor Signs Budget Funding Health Care Needs

Governor Baker signed the state budget for Fiscal Year 2019 today. The budget funds state programs and also includes numerous policy changes. Massachusetts budget procedures allow the Governor to veto specific provisions of the budget However, for the most part, the Governor did not veto our key health care priorities. We are very pleased that the budget does not call for cuts in MassHealth or other state-funded health programs, and adds a new periodontal (gum care) dental benefit for adults in MassHealth. Here are some of the issues that we have been working on that were included in the... Read more »

FY19 Health Care Budget Priorities

The Massachusetts Senate recently approved their version of the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) state budget. The Senate version and the House version must now be reconciled through negotiation between the two chambers. Health Care For All (HCFA) has a number of budget priorities related to health care that have made it this far and should continue on to the final budget. To find HCFA’s full FY19 Conference Committee letter with detailed explanations of our positions, please click here. You can find summaries of each budget priority that HCFA supports below: Read more »

2018 Democracy School: Building Health Care Power in Immigrant Communities

On Saturday, April 14th, in what seemed to be a precursor to the Boston Marathon, members of the Immigrant Healthcare Access Coalition (IHAC) steering committee completed their own long distance event – they ran the 2018 Democracy School: Building Health Care Power in Immigrant Communities. This training was part of a coordinated, on-going effort to inform immigrants and the groups that serve them about their health care rights. The training also aimed to dispel the growing fear and mistrust within immigrant communities that is preventing many individuals and families from seeking the health... Read more »

The House voted to repeal the ACA but we can stop this in the Senate: Join Our Friends and Family Campaign!

The US House of Representatives just voted in favor of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The American Health Care Act will make massive cuts to Medicaid and rip up the insurance protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - but we're not giving up. Now the bill moves to the Senate, where we can still win this fight.  All Senators, regardless of their public position on AHCA, need to hear from their constituents now. In Massachusetts, we are fortunate that our Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren are firmly opposing this effort, but we can still play an important... Read more »

Contact Your Representative - HCFA's House Budget Amendments

The state House of Representatives released their draft budget this week. The budget funds the state's MassHealth and other health programs, and includes many provision supported by HCFA. Our friends at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute released an outstanding summary of the provisions affecting low income residents, including MassHealth and other health concerns. House budget debate starts on April 24. Read more »

They Say Cut Back. We All Say Fight Back.

Tom Price tears a page from the health care bill during a press conference. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) Read more »

Blue Cross Foundation Study Looks at the Remaining Uninsured in Massachusetts

Last week, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and the University of Massachusetts Medical School released a report entitled “The Remaining Uninsured in MA: Experiences of Individuals Living without Health Insurance Coverage” (read the report here). Massachusetts continues to have the lowest uninsured rate in the nation, with some 97% of residents covered. However, about 200,000 people of diverse age, race and employment status remain uninsured. The goal of this study was to figure out the reasons why people remained uninsured and help inform policy suggestions which would... Read more »

More Thoughts on the CHIA Report ("A blip, not a bloop")

The headline leads today's Globe's front page: Health care costs jump, a setback for Mass. There's no question that today's report from CHIA, with its topline finding of a 4.8% per capita growth in total health care spending in 2014, might lead to the perception that our progress in controlling health care cost growth has hit a bump. Certainly 4.8% exceeds the state's goal of holding spending growth to 3.6% or less. But digging into the report, there's a complex mix of good and bad news, and the report defies simplistic conclusions. So here are a few of our takeaways: Read more »

MassHealth Wants YOU! (to help them think about structure and payment reforms)

MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program, is dramatically ramping up its process for the public to contribute ideas for its restructuring and payment reforms. And you're invited to participate. During the spring, the agency held listening session forums throughout the state on a number of key issues. They plan to soon issue a summary of what they heard at those meetings. Now, the next step is for an open, participatory process to advise MassHealth on implementing major changes to the program. In their announcement, the agency set out a multi-level outline for input into their planning:... Read more »

Happy 50th Birthday Medicaid! Celebrate with a Massachusetts Medicaid Timeline

Happy Birthday, Medicaid and Medicare! Today is the 50th anniversary of the signing of Social Security Act of 1965 which created both programs. Massachusetts has had a particularly important role in influencing the evolution of Medicaid at the federal level and among the states. In honor of the day, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation created a spectacular interactive timeline to showcase major milestones in Medicaid history in Massachusetts .  Notably, many of the expansions and innovations of the past 30 years are the result of the advocacy legacy of HCFA.    Read more »

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