A Healthy Blog

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

Public Health

FY 12 Budget I: Public Health: "a serious error in judgment"

[Note - We're going to cover yesterday's release by Governor Patrick of the FY2012 budget recommendations in two blog posts. This entry focuses on the cuts to public health] The startling statement from Senator Richard Moore, chair of the Health Care Financing Committee, is stark and pointed: What is surprising in this budget proposal though is the 'penny-wise, pound foolish' cuts in public health prevention and other health accounts that save money and, most importantly, save lives. If our goal is to cut health costs - and indeed it is – then we must continue the fight for infection... Read more »

My Little Black Book for Sexual Health Guides Young Adults Through Health Insurance Maze

My Little Black Book for Sexual Health is a new user-friendly interactive online guide to help young adults navigate their health insurance options. This unique resource answers questions about finding health plans that work for them, why prescription coverage matters, and how birth control fits in. The REaDY Initiative created My Little Black Book for Sexual Health because young adults ages 18-26 are the group most likely to be uninsured -- and also face high rates of unintended pregnancy. Read more »

The Health Care Case Against Question 3

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"266","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"344","width":"425","style":""}}]] As the video above says, Question 3 on the Massachusetts ballot next week would cut the state sales tax, devastating health care programs. Health Care For All urges a no vote on the Question 3 (and Question 1). An analysis by the Mass Taxpayers Foundation concluded that the measure would require a staggering $4.8 billion cut spread across the $16.9 billion in discretionary funding that could be cut. For human services, the report finds... Read more »

43.5 Million Congratulations, Community Health Centers

Following through on its commitment to improve public health and bolster community health care facilities, last Friday the Obama Administration approved $43.5 million in federal grant funding to improve and expand eight community health centers throughout the Commonwealth. Massachusetts received the third largest allocation of funds out of 39 state recipients. The funds are part of a $727 million federal grant program, approved under the Affordable Care Act, which aims to build and renovate existing community health centers across the nation. Over 5 years, the Affordable Care Act provides $... Read more »

URGENT ALERT - Key Vote On Tuesday - Tell Scott Brown to Save Prevention Funds For MA

Tomorrow - Tuesday, Sept. 14 - the US Senate is scheduled to vote on a critical amendment that would gut the Prevention and Public Health Fund included as part of national health reform. The Fund provides resources to national, state, and local programs to make Americans healthier and reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. Massachusetts is in line to receive an estimated $300 million through this program. Senator Johanns of Nebraska will offer an amendment on September 14 that would eliminate this Fund to pay for a change in business tax reporting rules. Details are at this Community... Read more »

Celebrate School Nutrition Victory - Friday, Noon

Tomorrow at the State House, the Massachusetts Public health Association (MPHA) will be hosting a celebration for the signing of the School Nutrition Bill (download invitation here). The bill will be signed tomorrow by Governor Patrick. The law, championed by Representatives Koutoujian and Sanchez, and Senators Fargo and Richard Moore, and will promote healthier food options for close to one million Massachusetts public school students. The law is a strong step in the public health fight against obesity, overweight and chronic disease. Join MPHA, the Massachusetts Health Council, the School... Read more »

No Special Tax Breaks For Alcohol: The No On 1 Campaign Kicks Off

Rep. Liz Malia Speaks At No On 1 Rally On Wednesday afternoon, the Committee Against Repeal of Alcohol Tax held the kick-off for its “Vote No on 1” campaign against the repeal of the alcohol tax outside the Massachusetts State House. Passionate speeches and a high energy level highlighted the importance of denying the alcohol industry a sales tax exemption. A question to repeal the alcohol sales tax will be on the State's ballot on November 2nd. Read more »

Public Health Council Looks At Health Equity, Young (Not So) Invincibles

The Public Health Council met last Wednesday with an agenda (pdf) that focused on health equity and young worker health and safety. Read more »

Committee Against Repeal of the Alcohol Tax Regional Campaign Field Meetings Start July 19

At November 2nd's state election, the liquor industry will ask Massachusetts voters to repeal the sales tax on alcohol. This sales tax provides dedicated funding for substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services. Passage of the question would jeopardize funding of these programs. The Committee Against Repeal of the Alcohol Tax is hosting regional campaign meetings to inform you about the campaign and what YOU can do to help defeat the repeal: Read more »

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