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

National Health Reform

National Health Reform is Good For Massachusetts: Prescription Sunshine

Today's guest blogger is Kate Petersen, communications coordinator for Community Catalyst, and a blogger for Postscript, their blog covering prescription drug issues. Provisions in national health care reform would require all drug companies, device, and medical supply manufacturers to fully disclose and report any gifts they make or financial arrangements they have with doctors, a physician practice or group. These ‘Sunshine provisions,’ modeled after a bill introduced in the Senate in 2007 by Senators Herb Kohl and Charles Grassley, have bipartisan, bicameral support, and were included in... Read more »

National Health Reform is Good For Massachusetts: Helping Pam

HCFA’s HelpLine is on track to field more than 40,000 calls this year. Every day we hear from HelpLine callers who tell us that were it not for our help, they would be stuck without access to health care. National health care reform would ensure access to health care coverage for millions of Americans by including funding for consumer assistance programs. The story below demonstrates the importance of consumer assistance programs like our HelpLine. – Kate Bicego Pam (not her real name) called the HelpLine because her employer stopped helping her to pay for her health insurance coverage.... Read more »

National Health Reform is Good For Massachusetts: Reaching Out

Regular readers of this blog are familiar with Health Care For All’s HelpLine: a free in-house resource, referral, and enrollment service available in four languages (Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin, and English) for consumers. Counselors help consumers from all backgrounds get the information they need, providing a broad range of support from answering health reform questions to insurance application assistance over the phone. There are numerous other consumer assistance organizations around the state, helping consumers access and navigate the health care system. These organizations are... Read more »

National Health Reform is Good For Massachusetts: Care Quality and Patient Safety

Health Care For All’s Consumer Health Quality Council has been working for 3 ½ years to bring attention to issues around health care quality and patient safety. National health reform is good for Massachusetts because it will allow us to make progress on the quality and safety fronts. Read more »

National Health Reform Is Good For Massachusetts: Preventing Cancer

[Note: Today's guest blogger is Marc Hymovitz, Director of Government Relations & Advocacy American Cancer Society, New England Division] While Massachusetts health reform has been successful in reducing the number of uninsured residents and ensuring a minimum, adequate level of coverage, barriers to care still remain. Passage of meaningful health care reform at the federal level would address at least one of those barriers by prohibiting cost sharing on life-saving preventative and early detection services such as cancer screenings. Read more »

National Health Reform is Good For Texas, Too

Since moving from Texas – the state where I was born and raised – to Boston late last year, I began conducting a small social experiment: I casually engage New England natives in conversations regarding their impressions of Texas as a state, population and, perhaps most significant if not delightfully intriguing, as perceived of having a unique jingoistic ethos. While my experiment is nowhere near its completion, I have developed some early findings and analysis, namely that most individuals who are not from Texas think of Texas and Texans as a land and population rife with catch phrases. The... Read more »

National Health Reform is Good For Massachusetts: Seniors

[Note: today's guest blog is by Deborah Banda, State Director, AARP Massachusetts] At AARP, we hear countless heartbreaking stories from our members who can't get affordable health care coverage or who can’t afford their prescription drugs. We know that health care is among the most important and personal economic issues they face. AARP is fighting for national health care reform that will: Read more »

National Health Reform is Good For Massachusetts: The Video

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"257","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"344","width":"425","style":""}}]] Today, Health Care For All is releasing a powerful video in support of national health care reform. Massachusetts patients, doctors, students, consumer advocates, and representatives of small business and labor come together and talk about why we need national health reform and why it is good for the Commonwealth. You can view the video above, and it is also available at NationalHealthReformIsGoodForMa.org, and our page with Community... Read more »

National Health Reform is Good For Massachusetts: Kids

Massachusetts has been a national leader in expanding affordable coverage to children. Chapter 58 expanded MassHealth coverage to kids in families with income up to 3 times the poverty level, and the Children's Medical Security Plan provides basic care to all children ineligible for other coverage at any income level. Our aggressive outreach programs have reduced the uninsurance rate for kids to below 2%, the best in the country, though there is still more work to be done. Despite all that we have accomplished, national health reform would be good for children in Massachusetts, assuring... Read more »

Obama / Romney / Obama / Romney / ... (Groucho too)

Following a longstanding A Healthy Blog convention, we tag posts dealing with former Governor Romney's spin cycle attempts to deal with the Massachusetts reform law under the health care humor category; besides, this gave me a good laugh. Timothy Noah of Slate posted a quiz yesterday that juxtaposes a number of Obama and Romney statements on health reform. But the statements are, as we say in health research, de-identified. The challenge is to identify who said which. This is harder than it looks. While we're on the subject of Republicans, this video nicely sums up their approach to health... Read more »


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