A Healthy Blog

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

Public Health

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 »

Home Sweet Medical Home

A "Patient-Centered Medical Home" (PCMH) is not an institution or nursing home, but a primary care medical practice that offers coordinated, comprehensive care that is personal and focused on the patients' needs. PCMHs have the potential to both improve patient care and reduce costs. By engaging the patient at the center of his or her own care, a medical home can focus on improving overall health and wellness in partnership with the patient. At least that's the theory. But what practically is required of a medical home? Read more »

MassBudget Study: Positive Health Effects of Earned Income Tax Credit

In the worlds of health care policy and delivery, there is increasing recognition that addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) –access to nutritious foods, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, dependable transportation, well-paying jobs and safety from violence—is essential to improving health outcomes, containing health care costs and addressing health inequities across race and income. In other words, health care is about even more than having insurance coverage and receiving traditional medical care.    The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) recently... Read more »

FY19 Health Care Senate Budget Amendments Review

Just last week, the Massachusetts Senate released their budget proposal for fiscal year 2019, which begins on July 1 of this year. Senators will be debating and voting on many amendments in the short term, including a number of important health care related amendments.  HCFA is supporting a number of amendments that will improve access to affordable and quality health care coverage; there are also some proposed amendments we oppose that would move our state backwards. With debate in the Senate starting, it is critical that your Senator knows how constituents feel about these critical health... Read more »

Massachusetts Study: Meal Programs Can Reduce Health Costs

  Good health for Massachusetts families is about more than access to traditional medical care. The social determinants of health (SDOH) – factors such as food insecurity, lack of affordable housing, transportation barriers, limited access to well-paying jobs, and exposure to violence – contribute to poor health outcomes, drive up health care costs, and create health inequities across race and income. Read more »

April is Medicaid Awareness Month!

In April, advocates across the country mark Medicaid Awareness Month and celebrate the program that provides health coverage to millions, including eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults and people with disabilities. Here in the Bay State, approximately 1.8 million people depend on MassHealth – the Commonwealth’s combined Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – to access the health care they need. From birth and well-child visits to annual physicals, substance use disorder treatment and long-term care, Medicaid is a lifeline across the lifespan. Read more »

FY19 Health Care Budget Amendments Review

On April 23, the Massachusetts House of Representatives will begin voting on the state’s budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins on July 1 of this year. Representatives will consider 1400 amendment proposed by Representatives, including a number of important health-care related amendments. HCFA is supporting a number of amendments that will improve access to affordable and quality health care coverage; there are also some proposed amendments we oppose that would move us backwards. With debate in the House starting, it is crucial that your Representative knows how constituents feel about... Read more »

Senate Passes Comprehensive Health Care Bill

Last week, the state Senate considered over 150 amendments proposed to their comprehensive health care cost control package, titled the HEALTH Act, for Health Empowerment and Affordability while Leveraging Transformative Health care (see our initial thoughts on the bill here). After spending two full days discussing and voting on amendments, the Senate approved the bill right at midnight on November 9. The final Senate bill, incorporating all the amendments, is expected to be numbered S. 2211, and so should be available online here. Read more »

ACA Repeal Also Threatens Massachusetts Prevention and Public Health Funding

The Prevention and Public Health Fund was established in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act. As the nation’s first mandatory fund dedicated to improving public health, this fund has played a major role in funding prevention programs throughout the country. The current proposed legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act would eliminate this fund. Read more »

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