Update Post Governor’s Budget Vetoes and Legislative Hearings –Shortfalls in Budget

Massachusetts State House

On July 7, the Conference Committee lowered state budget line items– including DDS — due to the continued uncertainty of state revenues.  On July 17, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed an additional $320 million on top of the legislature’s reduction, including a cut of more than $7 million from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) budget. The impact of these reductions means uncertainty for many people.  These decisions were also affected …

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New Fact Sheet From The Arc

Medicaid logo

Although we were relieved that the Senate decided NOT to vote for the changes in Medicaid and Health care. We will face other challenges. This new fact sheet from The Arc provides more background on Medicaid as you advocate in the future.

Ways and Means and Health Care Finance Committee Hearing Testimony

At the Ways and Means and Health Care Finance Committee Hearing, Leo Sarkissian, Gillian Buckley and Herb Cabral provided testimony in support of the legislature rejecting the Governor’s Mass Health cuts and  to override the DDS line item vetos. Pictured with Leo is Gillian Buckley, a 19 year old sibling of two brothers with autism and a state house intern for Representative Jeff Roy. July 24, 2017 Dear Committee Members, …

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MassHealth Reform Debate Continues

On Tuesday, the US Senate passed a bill to continue the health care debate, threatening major changes in Medicaid as attempted in the Senate earlier this year and passed in the US House.   Meanwhile on Beacon Hill, the Joint Committees on Ways and Means and Health Care Financing held a hearing on Governor Charlie Baker’s MassHealth Reform Package. Chief of Staff Kristin Lepore, Secretary of Health and Human Services …

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Update for Conference Committee budget release

Disappointing news today, July 7, 2017, as the Conference Committee released a 40.2 billion dollar budget for fiscal year 2018.  The bill reflects 600 million in adjustments to the FY 2018 budget made due to the tax revenue falling below projections as well the uncertainty of forecasted revenue.  The Arc appreciates the minimal trimming of the line items that we have strongly advocated for, such as Turning 22 and Family …

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A message from Secretary MaryLou Sudders on the appointment of an interim commissioner:

Dear Colleagues, As you know, Commissioner Howe is retiring from public service next Friday, July 14, 2017.  I’m pleased to inform you that Jane Ryder, Deputy Commissioner has  agreed to serve as  Interim Commissioner beginning July 15th while the active search for a successor continues. Jane has worked for the Department since September of 1995 and was promoted into the Deputy Commissioner role in July 2015.  She has assisted Commissioner …

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An Update on the Senate Health Care Bill

As many of you realize, the Senate version of the Health Care bill was released yesterday, June 22.  Unfortunately, this bill also severely cuts Medicaid and health care coverage provisions as in the House bill. The bill includes deep Medicaid cuts and focuses on reducing premiums (Ted Cruz says they are NOT low enough in the Senate bill) but neglects long-term impact on out of pocket and premiums for those who …

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