A Healthy Blog

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

Revenue

Tobacco Tax Increased Today: Win - Win - Win - Win .... (how many wins do you want?)

Today Massachusetts increased its tobacco taxes, on both cigarettes and other forms of tobacco. Back when the legislature was debating tobacco taxes in the 1990s, one legislator called it a win-win policy, and another responded that it was a win-win-win proposal. Then Senator Mark Montigny proclaimed it was "win-win-win-win." We agree. How many wins do you want? Read more »

HCFA Looks Ahead to 2013

Happy New Year from all of HCFA (see our staff picture above)! The year 2013 will be a critical year for health care in Massachusetts. State government will be making numerous decisions that will directly impact the availability, cost and quality of the care that everyone depends on. Health Care For All will be there, making the sure the voices of consumers and patients are heard on Beacon Hill, and throughout the state. Among the key issues we anticipate focusing on for 2013 are: 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 »

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 »

The Health Case For Why We Should Maintain The Sales Tax on Alcohol

The Campaign for Addiction Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery, a broad coalition of organizations working on substance abuse and related issues, is working hard to urge House members to vote no today on amendment 43, which would repeal last year's statute removing the the sales tax exemption on alcohol. The vote is expected Tuesday morning or early afternoon. Call your Representative now! [UPDATE: The House defeated the amendment on a 67-82 vote. We thank those legislators who supported public health and voted against the amendment.] The campaign has released a detailed fact sheet explaining... Read more »

Watch, and then Call: "There's Nothing More Hurtful And Regressive Than A Budget Cut"

First, please watch the video below, highlights from today's inspirational, packed "Stop The Cuts" rally at the State House. The speakers include Harris Gruman of SEIU and the Stop the Cuts Coalition; Lisa Wong, Mayor of Fitchburg; John Bennett of Mass Senior Action; and Lynn Norris of Neighbor to Neighbor. Next, call your State Senator (not sure who that is? look it up here) and urge him or her to support expanded revenues and HCFA's key budget amendments to restore critical health care programs. The Senate will be starting its budget debate on Tuesday. Among the Senate budget amendments... Read more »

Increase Taxes! Stop the Cuts! (Rally, Noon Monday)

We're going to go beyond some of the more polite euphemisms, like "revenue enhancements," and say what we mean: Massachusetts should increase taxes. We’ve talked about the bad news from the Senate Ways & Means Committee’s FY10 budget proposal nearly all week, so you’re familiar with the story. The Senate has made over $2 billion in cuts to the state budget. These cuts hurt families, children, vulnerable citizens and everyone’s basic quality of life. With the Committee’s proposal, thousands of residents will lose important benefits (like dental coverage) and many more will lose their... Read more »

What's Not in the Senate Budget Proposal (UPDATED)

The Senate Ways and Means Committee released its version of the FY10 state budget today (text here), which even Committee Chair Panagiotakos described as "draconian.” The key question will be whether the Senate joins the House in embracing new revenue provisions critical to maintaining vital services. With tax revenue declining, the Senate based its budget on a tax revenue estimates at $17.989 billion, $1.54 billion less than the estimate used by the House and the Governor. HCFA will be joining hundreds of other groups next Monday at noon to call for new revenues. Or join the ONE... Read more »

Raise Revenue and Stop the Cuts: State House Events This Week

One Massachusetts image illustrating ecology of state structures we rely on Three State House events will allow us to let our Representatives know that the public supports increased revenue to maintain our system of public structures that keep our communities safe and healthy, educate our children, and draw businesses to our state. 1. As the House considers revenue proposals today, the broad Stop The Cuts Coalition will gather today (Monday 4/27) at noon in State House room B-1. The message is we need to raise new revenue to invest in our future and reduce these cuts so we can invest in our... Read more »

Public Support for New Revenues

This afternoon, One Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Community Action Network, along with other organizations, held a rally to oppose budget cuts proposed in the HWM budget outside of the State House. The group also advocated for new revenue streams. Advocates from the housing, health, youth, environment, mental health and social work fields attended. Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Executive Director at HCFA, spoke about the crucial need to support public programs and create new revenues. In particular, HCFA is supporting: Read more »

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