BOSTON -- Democrats on Beacon Hill are under pressure to pass Governor Baker's sensible reforms to the MassHealth program that will control spending and save taxpayer dollars. Today, the Cape Cod Times editorial board joins a chorus of opinion leaders urging Democrats to do their jobs and pass the reforms.
Cape Cod Times: Legislature Should Pass Governor's Plan
"Overall, we support Baker's approach with some modifications. The devil is in the details, and if Baker and legislative leaders can compromise on some of the details then Baker's plan may work." (Read More)
Newburyport Daily News: Dems Should Focus On Passing "Crucial" MassHealth Reform, Not Overriding Vetoes
"Lawmakers’ time would be far better spent considering Baker’s proposals to rein in spending at MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. In the budget he signed, the governor included $200 million from a temporary assessment on Massachusetts employers to help defray the cost of the program. He also has proposed a five-year moratorium on new insurance mandates and restrictions on the ability of workers to go on MassHealth even if their own employers offer health insurance coverage.
The changes are crucial to keeping the 2018 budget balanced, the governor said in asking lawmakers to hold a public hearing on the proposals within 30 days and approve them within 60 days." (Read More)
Boston Herald: Inaction Would Prove Dems Don't Want To Make The Tough Decisions
"Gov. Charlie Baker has devised a well-balanced plan for controlling the skyrocketing cost of the MassHealth program by asking both employers and beneficiaries to dig a little deeper. The Democrats who control the Legislature now need to drop the excuses, and take action on the plan.
No, the simple truth is that Democratic lawmakers are allergic to changes that affect MassHealth eligibility. They were perfectly content to adopt the new fees as a stand-alone piece, but there needs to be balance here.
Spending on MassHealth is crowding out other worthy programs. And Baker’s reforms are carefully crafted to avoid being unduly burdensome. The Legislature needs to get back to work." (Read More)
The Lowell Sun: Rosenberg "Dodges" MassHealth Fixes After Asking Gov For A Plan
"Yet here we go again. When decisive action is warranted, the Legislature retreats to its cocoon of more study and more talk that will add to the state's health-care affordability crisis -- not lessen it.
Gov. Charlie Baker was charged by the Legislature -- both Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo -- to come up with a plan to create revenue and savings fill a nearly $350 million MassHealth budget gap.
That's right, the Legislature deferred to Baker's team for the fix -- and he delivered not once but twice.
Baker's team came up with other revenue and savings fixes that, when combined with the employers' contributions, resulted in a total of $314.6 million toward closing the MassHealth gap." (Read More)
The Boston Globe: Legislature "Sits On The Sidelines" On Governor's Worthy Plan
"...And some legislators, after electing to sit on the sidelines earlier in the spring, don’t like what they view as the administration’s take-it-or-leave-it attitude.
They’d like hearings, or for the administration to submit its proposals as a separate piece of legislation so they can be fully vetted in a public process.
Now, it’s hardly Baker’s fault that the Legislature passed the buck in the first place...
In the meantime, though, Baker gave the Legislature what it asked for: a plan to stabilize MassHealth’s finances that brings in more revenue from employers. It needn’t all pass at once, but the proposal, or something very much like it, deserves approval." (Read More)