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

National Health Reform

Trump's Call to Repeal ACA But Not Pre-Existing Conditions Protections Won't Work: Because of Massachusetts

While deciphering exactly where the Trump administration wants to go with the Affordable Care Act is difficult, reports have suggested that the new administration will seek to repeal almost all, but not every single provision all of the Obamacare law. The parts he would keep are the most politically attractive components - allowing adult children to stay on their parents' family coverage to age 26, and the core insurance protections - excluding coverage or charging higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. Would it work to keep the insurance protections, but repeal the... Read more »

Our Health Is Threatened: Fight By Our Side

The election puts at risk the coverage of some 22 million people nationally who depend on the Affordable Care Act for their health insurance. What about us here in Massachusetts? Our reforms predated the ACA. Yet repealing the ACA would be devastating. It substantially strengthened our ability to provide affordable coverage. Over 300,000 adults are enrolled in MassHealth and an additional 180,000 in Connector Care directly under provisions of the ACA. 480,000 of us and our neighbors. Because of the ACA, we’ve been able to provide premium assistance for more people, allow children to remain on... Read more »

More on the Tenth (Tin?) Anniversary of Health Reform

According to the leading crowd-sourced online encyclopedia, the traditional gift for a tenth anniversary is tin. So here's a brief bulletin on how folks marked the tenth anniversary of Governor Romney's signing of Chapter 58, the Massachusetts health reform law. WBUR's Martha Bebinger was one of the go-to reporters covering health reform in 2005 and 2006. Today, she produced a 6-minute report on people's reactions to the law, talking to ordinary people, including Madelyn Rhenisch, the first enrollee in Commonwealth Care, who calls her insurance coverage "a lifesaver." Read more »

Ten Years of Making History in Health Care

Ten years ago today, April 12, 2006, we all made history in health care. Just look (and you can click on the picture for the video): Read more »

Supreme Court: The Spirit of Massachusetts *IS* the Spirit of America

Two consecutive Supreme Court decisions take an idea that was first implemented in Massachusetts and make it national law. So it's official: The Spirit of Massachusetts is the Spirit of America: (Context:)     (Context 2:)   Read more »

Connector Reports on Progress, and Challenges (6/11/15 Board Meeting Report)

Yesterday, the Connector Board met to: Discuss the Connector’s progress in improving customer service, operations, and IT systems; Approve Administration & Finance subcommittee members; Discuss planning underway for the next open enrollment period; Approve contracts with vendors for operations and media/messaging work; Share updates on the 2015-2016 Student Health Insurance Plan procurement; and Approve final repeal of Commonwealth Care regulations. Materials from the meeting are posted here https://www.mahealthconnector.org/about/leadership/board-meetings. For the first time in a long... Read more »

Watch Obama's Speech To Feel Good About Health Reform (and read Senator Kennedy's letter to feel moved)

President Obama spoke on Tuesday about health reform. In part, it probably was an attempt to get ahead of the upcoming Supreme Court decision, and in part an opportunity to reflect on the progress we've made and set the record straight. If you have the time, and want to feel good about health reform, it's worth watching the whole thing; if you don't want to watch, we've posted some highlights below for you to read.:   Read more »

Happy Fifth Birthday, ACA

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the ACA. Conceived out of Massachusetts health reform, the law has been an enormous success nationally. It's also made a huge difference here, with more people being covered with better coverage, due to the ACA's improvements over Massachusetts' reform. The best piece we've seen so far on taking stock of the ACA at 5 years is this, "Obamacare is 5 years old, and Americans are still worried about death panels," by Vox's Sarah Kliff. The article is based on new polling results, which shows lots of misinformation and myths still present among Republicans, and... Read more »

#WOOHOO! [Update: It's over 515,000, on penultimate day]

UPDATE - here's the numbers as of the day before the scheduled end of open enrollment:     Read more »

The Receding Shor - Connector Board Report 12/11/14

Last Thursday’s Connector Board meeting began with a bittersweet farewell to outgoing Administration & Finance Secretary Glen Shor, who has been a leader in Massachusetts health reform implementation since 2007, holding multiple roles in Administration & Finance as well as Executive Director of the Health Connector, preceding Jean Yang. Shor gave a moving goodbye speech, and recognized Jean Yang’s leadership of the Health Connector, particularly during the most recent difficult times; Yang received a standing ovation from the Board and audience alike. After the heartfelt overtures,... Read more »

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