A Healthy Blog

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

US health policy

Fight Over Mental Health Parity Rules

This guest post is by Matt Selig, Executive Director of HCFA partner, Health Law Advocates: A semi-under-the-radar public policy battle is taking place over the writing of the administrative regulations that will implement the 2008 federal Mental Health Parity Law. Health care consumers have a lot at stake and the winners and losers in this fight will be determined within a few weeks. Generally speaking, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act requires group health plans providing mental health coverage to provide such benefits in a manner that is equal to other medical benefits.... Read more »

Congratulations, Christie!

HCFA congratulates our old friend and colleague, Christie Hager, who was named by federal HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as the new regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for New England (official press release here). HCFA worked closely with Christie when she served as Chief Health Counsel for Speaker DiMasi during the development, enactment and first three years of implementation of chapter 58. Christie played a critical role in providing accurate information and smart advice to the Speaker, who championed a strong health reform law under Christie's tutelage... Read more »

National health reform is good for Massachusetts

Starting today, HCFA will be posting a blog-a-day about why national health reform is good for Massachusetts. These posts will include personal stories from people who have benefited from our state’s health reform law and how national health reform can help millions of others like them across the country. The posts will also explain how national health reform will be good for Massachusetts by: Improving health care quality Lowering health care costs Reducing health care disparities Strengthening care for children and seniors Promoting oral health Congress is on the cusp of passing... Read more »

Congratulations, Senator Kirk

Health Care For All applauds the Governor for filling former Senator Edward Kennedy’s seat as quickly and thoughtfully as possible. It is vitally important that Massachusetts have two senators and full representation in Congress. We welcome longtime Kennedy staffer Paul Kirk to the job and are confident he will carry the torch for Senator Kennedy’s constituents. We look forward to working with our new interim senator and continuing the gains of health reform in Massachusetts. Accessible, affordable, and quality health care for Massachusetts consumers is our top priority and we believe Paul... Read more »

Weekend Fun-Link Riot!

A mid-August weekend, and there's only so much attention one can pay to the health care world. We could link you to the insightful editorial in the Taunton Daily Gazette, "Bay State's health reform success story," but the editorial only echoes similar points made by the Globe and Times in the past few weeks, concluding that MA health reform "has shown what progress can be made through a well-balanced approach - and thousands of residents are better off for it." Read more »

From Saturday's Public Forum with Niki Tsongas

Hello From Niki Tsongas’ Community Meeting at the Chelmsford Town Hall. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. but the place was packed to capacity at 9:30 a.m. Hundreds of people were in the overflow of the parking lot, with signs, songs and slogans, and a good dose of respect-filled conversation. Read more »

Anti-Reform Thugs Are Here, Too

I had thought (hoped?) that the ugly anti-reform mob thuggery being played out at Congressional town hall meetings for the benefit of the You-tube cameras was not happening in Massachusetts. Sorry, but it's happening here, too. Tuesday's Worcester Telegram has the story of the disruptive heckling and vile Nazi imagery being flung at Congressmen McGovern and Neal at an event at UMass Medical School. U.S. Reps. James P. McGovern and Richard E. Neal were heckled and booed after trying to rally support today for President Barack Obama's plan for a comprehensive national health insurance program... Read more »

Get on the phone

As conservatives step up the rhetoric around health reform, consumer focused organizations like Families USA are mobilizing their supporters and bolstering their advocacy – and they need your help! Most Americans support health reform, but opponents will do everything they can to block the bill. In fact, some offices on Capitol Hill report that conservative callers now outnumber those in support of reform 3 to 1! The time for you to act is now – call 1-800-828-0498 and ask to be connected your Representative. Then contact Families USA online and let them know you called. Read more »

National Health Reform: Lots Going On - Get Informed, Call DC

We normally don't write so much about national health reform, except when there's a Massachusetts angle. There are lots of great blogs covering the issue (our favorites: The New Republic's The Treatment; Washington Post's Ezra Klein; Change.org's healthcare blog; and New America's New Health Dialogue, and CAP's Think Progress Wonk Room; list your additions in the comments). But today we have three relevant points to report: Read more »

House of the Whopper

Last night some Republicans took the floor of the US House of Representatives to attack health reform. It's what the House calls "Special Orders." The chamber is empty, and the real audience is the C-Span junkies and the partisans of the cause being talked about. In the middle of the discussion, mostly irrelevant attacks on the English and Canadian system, with some side forays into medical malpractice and over-regulation (source), up pops Massachusetts (Congressional Record transcript below): Mr. DENT. The gentleman, Mr. Kirk from Illinois, pointed out an interesting point. He mentioned the... Read more »

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