A Healthy Blog

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

National Health Reform

Let It BHP

A few weeks ago, officials from EOHHS, MassHealth, and the Connector publicly announced their recommendation to implement a Basic Health Plan (BHP) in Massachusetts, to be administered by MassHealth, beginning in January 2014 (see this state powerpoint for analysis and details). Health Care For All and the Affordable Care Today!! coalition strongly support this decision. Read more »

Feliz Cumpleaños to Massachusetts Health Reform - Similar Gains in Hispanic Coverage Expected Nationally Under ACA

Last week Health Care For All and Community Catalyst, Massachusetts leaders and consumers gathered at the State House to highlight the success of health care reform among Hispanics in the state. This month marks the 6th anniversary of passage of Chapter 58 in Massachusetts and the second anniversary since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama - two landmark pieces of legislation that have opened the doors to care for millions of residents first in the state and now nationwide. Read more »

Ringside II: Wednesday from the Supreme Court

HCFA Executive Director Amy Whitcomb Slemmer was at Wednesday's Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion. Here's her report:) Greetings from SCOTUS (as the cool kids are calling it). This was another incredible day from the Supreme Court of the United States where the final day of arguments about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act was discussed, dissected and debated among the members of the highest court in the land. Day three had fewer protesters providing color commentary outside the building, but double the line standers because the day’s... Read more »

Ringside Report From The Supreme Court

HCFA Executive Director Amy Slemmer is in Washington this week, and sent this report from the oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act. Hello from the US Supreme Court. Read more »

NPR: Massachusetts (cf. Texas)

With the second anniversary of the ACA and the Supreme Court challenge coming up, the media are focused on every angle of national health reform. We know that real life stories are often the best way to communicate reality, and NPR did a great job on Tuesday bringing us two similar people from Texas and Massachusetts. Similar, except that the Massachusetts person has good, affordable health coverage. The stories, One Nation, Two Health Care Extremes is built off of two reporters, one from each state. In Houston, Carrie Feibel introduces us to what it's like for someone in a state with 25% of... Read more »

National Health Reform is Good For Massachusetts - An Update

The federal health reform website, HealthCare.gov, has a wealth of information about the ACA and implementation. They just posted a comprehensive state-by-state summary of who has been helped by the implementation of the ACA so far. The Massachusetts page has an impressive catalog of impacts, including a summary of all the federal grant funds Massachusetts has received. Among the highlights: Read more »

EHB Is The New MCC

State officials have begun the process of determining which health plan will serve as the essential health benefits (EHB) benchmark plan for Massachusetts. The EHB refers to the set of services that many health plans will be required to cover beginning in 2014 pursuant to §1302 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It applies to all non-grandfathered health plans in the individual and small group markets sold both inside and outside of Exchanges, as well as to Medicaid benchmark plans. Read more »

Romney's Rock and Hard Place

MSNBC guest host Ezra Klein had a good story last night on Romney's political dilemma, featuring economist and Connector Board member Jonathan Gruber. As evidence spreads of the success of Massachusetts health reform, Romney can't acknowledge or take credit for the results. There's no mention of chapter 58 or "RomneyCare" anywhere on Romney's web pages. Watch: Read more »

ACT!! Coalition Proposes ACA Subsidized Insurance Framework

Implementing the ACA in Massachusetts is not necessarily an easy, straightforward process. Massachusetts will have many decisions to make, fitting the ACA overlay onto our chapter 58 base (see this BCBS Foundation chart for a list of many of those decisions). This week, the ACT!! Coalition sent a letter to EOHHS Secretary Bigby (pdf) with our preliminary recommendations on Massachusetts’ subsidized insurance framework under the Affordable Care Act. In line with the coalition’s principles, ACT!! believes that the ACA must be implemented in Massachusetts a way that: Read more »


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