2010 State Legislative Preview: MASSACHUSETTS


Lawmakers on Beacon Hill work to make up for a lackluster beginning of 2009, with the cloud of corruption scandals hanging over senior lawmakers, including former speaker Sal DiMasi. DiMasi has been replaced with Robert DeLeo. Changing leadership teams has meant changes in committee chairs. Two bills punctuate the bleeding disorders community’s efforts in Boston. A treatment standards act which is being introduced for the first time in 2009, and an advisory committee bill marshaled through by Beacon Hill stalwart Dick Moore.
Budget cuts threaten to undercut the level of access available through Massachusetts Universal Access plan called MassHealth. Legislative Action may take a back seat to the state’s governor’s race with Governor Duval Patrick facing off against one time Democrat turned Independent State Treasurer Tim Cahill, and now Former CEO of Massachusetts HMO Harvard-Pilgrim, Charlie Baker. Baker had been Secretary of Administration under former Governor Bill Weld and was at the center of plans to subvert the 2006 Healthcare Constitutional Amendment. Cahill is charged with paying the state’s portion of MassHealth. Patrick just cut services under MassHealth to legal immigrants in July, before restoring partial benefits on September 1. What changed? The Governor’s race did with the financial condition of the state roughly the same, the issue of healthcare figure largely in the 2010 race, and will be the guise through which any debates about health access occur.
HFA continues to profile each of the individual states and the current legislative environment looking ahead towards the 2010 legislative term. As always, community members are invited to comment, raise questions, address evolving themes. Your imput is always welcome.