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Charlie Baker on Health Care

 

 


Emergency telehealth order worked, now it's permanent

Telehealth visits--online or over the phone--were made possible by an emergency order we issued. Patients and clinicians took full advantage. People who used to put off that clinician visit because they were busy flocked to service. Over a million visits in less than nine months. It was convenient and safe--and it kept people healthy and out of the emergency room. But it wasn't permanent. Now it is, and we will all benefit from the flexibility and availability of this critical service.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to Massachusetts legislature , Jan 26, 2021

Patients First: mental health & COVID

S2984: An Act promoting a resilient health care system that puts patients first.

Governor's press release on S.2984: Governor Baker signed legislation increasing access to quality, affordable care, promoting telehealth and protecting access to COVID-19 testing & treatment. This legislation continues to advance our shared goal of transforming mental health care access and delivery in Massachusetts. This legislation will do so much good, but particularly it will expand mental health care access for rural residents, people of color, working families, and young people.

Legislative Outcome: Passed Senate 40-0-0 on Dec/23/20; Passed House 157-0-3 on Dec/23/20; Signed by Governor Charlie Baker on Jan/1/21.

Source: Governor press release on Massachusetts voting record S2984 , Jan 1, 2021

Modern health issues more challenging than in the past

For years, we have neglected preventive services that keep people healthy and out of our emergency rooms, like primary care, addiction services, geriatrics and behavioral health care. For a variety of reasons, mental health, addiction and behavioral health issues are far more challenging than they were in the past, and increasingly intertwined with physical illnesses. To put more resources into time, on primary care and behavioral health services, while limiting overall cost increases.
Source: 2020 Massachusetts State of the State address , Jan 21, 2020

Health Connector: replace mess with hope

We began with a Health Connector that was, by all accounts, a mess. Today it just finished its third consecutive positive open enrollment. Providing more than 240,000 working families with affordable health care coverage.

We began with a state hospital in Bridgewater that for decades was beset by a series of terrible tragedies--yet nothing was done. Today, Bridgewater State Hospital is a completely different place. And families who never expected anything to get better finally have hope.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Massachusetts legislature , Jan 23, 2018

Opposed Republican bill to eliminate ObamaCare

[Democratic opponent] Jay Gonzalez said the governor of Massachusetts should stand in opposition to the healthcare and budgetary policies of President Donald Trump, and that Baker's actions, which include writing a letter opposing the now-dead bill to eliminate ObamaCare, either came too late or are insufficient.

Gonzalez, speaking in the days before the House Republican's American Health Care Act of 2017 failed to pass the House of Representatives, said that national Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's healthcare bill pose a serious threat to Massachusetts. Baker's administration released estimates last month showing that the AHCA would have cost the state $1 billion per year by 2020. "We need to be doing everything we can to try to stop that from happening," Gonzalez said.

While major federal health care changes are no longer imminent following the defeat of the ACHA, Trump tweeted last week that he is still dedicated replacing Obama's signature health care law.

Source: Springfield Republican on 2018 Massachusetts Governor race , Apr 3, 2017

Push for a state waiver from ObamaCare

The debate touched on health care issues and the botched website the state launched last year to be in compliance with President Barack Obama's health care law. Baker has said the state should push for a waiver from the law. He said Tuesday that he feared the state was losing control of its own health care law. "I wanted Massachusetts to continue to be in the driver's seat," he said.

Coakley said the state needed some waivers from the federal government and said the state has the right plan now.

Source: WCVB-TV on 2014 Massachusetts Gubernatorial debate , Oct 8, 2014

Access to health care is a basic right

Baker declares, "access to health care is a basic right": In a debate with Mark Fisher on June 2nd, "Baker said "access to health care is a basic right." And to ensure that everyone is afforded that right, he said, the state's health care delivery system needs an overhaul, including making the price of care more transparent. The same person can receive drastically different price quotes for the exact same medical treatment from different hospitals, Baker said. Knowing how much each medical institution charges for a service would "change the whole health care conversation in Massachusetts," he said." (Boston Globe, 6/2/2014)

Baker said health care is already a basic right under state and federal law. "I think the most important thing we can do to make sure everybody's 'covered' with respect to that is to have a system like the one we had here in Massachusetts, where 98% of our population was covered. (State House News Service, 6/2/2014)

Source: Mass IEPAC p.183, on 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate , Jun 2, 2014

Eliminate mandated benefits that are more than people need

    To control health care costs, here is where I would start:
  1. Demand transparency on price and performance. The lack of transparency in health care costs and quality contributes to the high costs of health care.
  2. Reform Medicaid so that the state lives up to its promise to pay its fair share of expenses.
  3. Eliminate costly mandated benefits and permit mandate-lite and mandate-free options. Mandating prescription drug coverage is the latest in a string of public-policy decisions that are making health care more expensive. Often, these benefits exceed what most members actually need. I support eliminating mandated benefits that are no longer effective.
  4. Require one open enrollment period and give small businesses group buying rights.
  5. Medical malpractice reform: The high premiums drive certain doctors out of practice and limits patients' access to this specialty care.
  6. Increase the number of primary care physicians in Massachusetts
Source: 2010 gubernatorial campaign website, charliebaker2010.com , Nov 1, 2010

Other governors on Health Care: Charlie Baker on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Ben Downing
Bill Weld
Bob Massie
Dan Wolf
Danielle Allen
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Geoff Diehl
Jay Gonzalez
Jesse Gordon
Karyn Polito
Lawrence Lessig
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Maura Healey
Richard Tisei
Seth Moulton
Setti Warren
Shiva Ayyadurai
Sonia Chang-Diaz
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
Warren Tolman
MA Senatorial:
Beth Lindstrom
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Geoff Diehl
Heidi Wellman
Joe Kennedy III
John Kingston
Kevin O`Connor
Shannon Liss-Riordan
Shiva Ayyadurai
Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
CA Recall:
S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Former U.S.Rep Doug Ose(R)
vs.Laura Smith(R)
vs.Former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner(R)
vs.Radio Host Larry Elder(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
vs.Gavin Newsom(D)
NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
vs.State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli(R)
vs.Candidate Hirsh Singh(R)
vs.GOP Chair Doug Steinhardt(R)
VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
vs.Former Governor Terry McAuliffe(D)
vs.CEO Glenn Youngkin(R)
vs.A.G. Mark Herring(D)
vs.State Sen. Amanda Chase(I)
vs.Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D)
vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
vs.State Rep. Lee Carter(D)
vs.State Sen. Jennifer McClellan(D)
vs.State Rep. Kirk Cox(R)
vs.CEO Pete Snyder(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.Former Gov. Matt Bevin(? R)

vs.Senator Rand Paul(? R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Biden Adviser Cedric Richmond(? D)
vs.Senator John Neely Kennedy(? R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
AK: Incumbent Mike Dunleavy(R)
vs.Bill Walker(I)
vs.Les Gara(D)
vs.Billy Toien(L)
vs.State Rep. Chris Kurka(R)
AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
vs.Chris Countryman(D)
vs.Stacy Lee George(R)
vs.Ambassador Lynda Blanchard(R)
vs.State Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier(D)
vs.Challenger Tim James(R)
AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
vs.Trump Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders(R)
vs.A.G. Leslie Rutledge(R,withdrew Nov.2021)
vs.Ricky Dale Harrington(L)
vs.Anthony Bland(D)
AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
Mayor Marco Lopez(D)
vs.Former news anchor Kari Lake(R)
vs.Secretary of State Katie Hobbs(D)
vs.State Treasurer Kimberly Yee(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Matt Salmon(R)
vs.Steve Gaynor(R)
vs.State Rep.Aaron Lieberman(D)
vs.Jorge Rivas(R)
vs.Karrin Taylor Robson(R)
CA: Incumbent Gavin Newsom(D)
vs.S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Kevin Paffrath(D)
vs.State Sen. Brian Dahle(R)
CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
vs.Mayor Greg Lopez(R)
vs.Heidi Ganahl(R)
CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
vs.Bob Stefanowski(? R)
FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
vs.Former Gov.Charlie Crist(D)
vs.Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried(D)
vs.Annette Taddeo(D)
GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
vs.Minority Leader Stacey Abrams(D)
vs.Senate candidate Shane Hazel(L)
vs.State Rep.Vernon Jones(R)
vs.2020 candidate Kandiss Taylor(R)
vs.Senator David Perdue(R)
HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
vs.Marissa Kerns(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Josh Green(D)
vs.Vicky Cayetano(D)
vs.Paul Morgan(R)
vs.State Rep.Kirk Caldwell(D)
IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
vs.Deidre DeJear(D)
vs.State Rep.Ras Smith(D)
ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
vs.Raul Labrador(R)
vs.Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin(R)
vs.Ammon Bundy(R)
vs.Ed Humphreys(R)
IL: Incumbent J.B. Pritzker(D)
vs.State Sen.Darren Bailey(R)
vs.Paul Schimpf(R)
vs.Jesse Sullivan(R)
KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
vs.Jeff Colyer(R)
vs.State Sen.Derek Schmidt(R)
vs.Chase LaPorte(R)
Gubernatorial Debates 2022 (continued):
MA: Incumbent Charlie Baker(R)
vs.Lt.Gov.Karyn Polito(R)
vs.State Rep. Geoff Diehl(R)
vs.Harvard Professor Danielle Allen(D)
vs.State Sen.Ben Downing(D)
vs.State Sen.Sonia Chang-Diaz(D)
vs.Shiva Ayyadurai(I)
vs.A.G. Maura Healey(D)
MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
vs.State Del.Robin Ficker(R) vs.State Del.Peter Franchot(D) vs.State Del.Kelly M. Schulz(R) vs.Secretary John B. King(D) vs.Ashwani Jain(D) vs.State A.G. Doug Gansler(D) vs.County Exec. Rushern Baker(D) vs.Secretary Thomas Perez(D) vs.Wes Moore(D) vs.Dan Cox(R)
ME: Incumbent Janet Mills(D)
vs.Former Gov. Paul LePage(R)
MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
vs.Chief James Craig(R)
vs.Police Chief Tudor Dixon(R)
vs.Garrett Soldano(R)
vs.John E. James(? R)
MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Jensen(R)
vs.Michelle Benson(R)
vs.Paul Gazelka(R)
NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
vs.Chuck Herbster(R)
vs.Jim Pillen(R)
vs.Brett Lindstrom(R)
vs.Carol Blood(D)
vs.State Sen. Theresa Thibodeau(R)
NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
vs.Dan Feltes(D)
vs.Karen Testerman(R)
NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
vs.Commissioner Jay Block(R)
vs.State Rep.Rebecca Dow(R)
vs.Mark Ronchetti(R)
NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(R)
vs.North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee(R)
vs.Dean Heller(R)
vs.Joe Lombardo(R)
vs.Mayor Michele Fiore(R)
NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D,resigned)
vs.Acting Gov.Kathy Hochul(D)
vs.Rob Astorino(R)
vs.Andrew Giuliani(R)
vs.US.Rep.Lee Zeldin(R)
vs.Tom Suozzi(D)
vs.Attorney General Letitia James(D)
OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
vs.Former Rep.Jim Renacci(R)
vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(D)
vs.Mayor John Cranley(D)
OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
vs.Connie Johnson(D)
vs.Joy Hofmeister(D)
OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
vs.Paul Romero(R)
vs.Casey Kulla(D)
vs.Kerry McQuisten(R)
vs.Tina Kotek(D)
vs.Nicholas Kristof(D)
vs.Tobias Read(D)
vs.State Rep. Christine Drazan(R)
PA: Incumbent Tom Wolf(D,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Rep. Lou Barletta(R)
vs.Commissioner Joe Gale(R)
vs.A.G.Josh Shapiro(D)
vs.William McSwain(R)
vs.U.S.Rep.Melissa Hart(R)
vs.State Sen.Scott Martin(R)
vs.State Sen. Scott Martin(R)
vs.State Sen. Doug Mastriano(R)
RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
vs.Gov. Dan McKee(D)
vs.Secy.Matt Brown(D)
vs.Mayor Allan Fung(R ?)
vs.Luis-Daniel Munoz(D)
vs.RI Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea(D)
vs.Seth Magainer(D)
vs.Helena Foulkes(D)
SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
vs.US.Rep.Joe Cunningham(D)
vs.State senator Mia McLeod(D)
SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
vs.Speaker Steven Haugaard(R)
TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
vs.Carnita Atwater(D)
vs.J B Smiley(D)
TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
vs.Beto O`Rourke(D)
vs.Chad Prather(R)
vs.State Sen.Don Huffines(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Allen West(R)
vs.Deidre Gilbert(D)
VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
vs.CEO Jonathan Wichmann(R)
vs.Rebecca Kleefisch(R)
vs.State Rep. Timothy Ramthun(R)
WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
vs.Rex Rammell(R)
vs.Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss(? D)
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Page last updated: Feb 25, 2022