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MA Health Legislation

Relevant Legislation

An Act to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in the Commonwealth

Lead Sponsors: Senator Susan Fargo and Representative Byron Rushing. S. 810

The act creates an Office of Health Equity that will address socioeconomic factors that influence health inequality, support community level solutions to disparity; prepare an annual “report card” monitoring health inequity trends, and replicate programs shown to be successful.

An Act to Promote Grant Programs to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities in the Commonwealth

Lead Sponsor: Senator Fargo (d-Lincoln. Senate Bill No. 810)

This legislation would establish community – based grant programs to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities. This is an accompaniment to S. 810

Food Policy Council Bill

Lead Sponsor: Representative Linda Dorcena Forry (HD2055)

This bill will create a Food Policy Council which will work to link local agricultural producers with communities that need improved access to healthy, fresh, affordable, locally grown food. This can improve the overall health outcomes of entire neighborhoods that traditionally have been “food deserts” – areas without access to fresh, unprocessed, healthful food.

An Act Relative to Health Care Affordability

Lead Sponsors: Senator Mark Montigny & Representative John Scibak. S. 549/H. 1102

MA requires residents to purchase health insurance coverage if they can afford it, but only takes into account the cost of health insurance premiums in relation to income. This act brings costs such as co – pays and deductibles into that equation to expand the definition of affordability. This way the affordability rates of different types of coverage are accurately assigned to their respective income levels.

An Act Strengthening Health Care Reform

Lead Sponsors: Representative Kulik (D-Worthington) and Senator Moore (D-Uxbridge). House Bill No. 4258; Senate Bill No. 873

This bill makes coverage consistent throughout public health care programs (Commonwealth Care, MassHealth, and Health Safety Net) to cover gaps in coverage and helps individuals receive appropriate health coverage. It helps MA residents retain coverage and grants flexibility to the Office of Medicaid to provide cost – effective health care to elderly and disabled legal immigrants.

An Act Relative to Shared Responsibility in Health Reform

Lead Sponsor: Representative Kulik (D –Worthington) and Senator Montigny (D-New Bedford). House Bill No. 1084; Senate Bill No. 550

Legislation that requires contributions from employers who do not provide minimal health benefits, increasing revenue for reform. With added revenue sustainability for reform can be established.

Children’s Health Care Reform

An Act to Assure Equitable Health Coverage for All Children

Lead Sponsors: Representative Malia (D-Boston) and Senator Chang – Diaz (D-Boston). House Bill No. 1087; Senate Bill No. 537

The existing standard of care under Children’s Medical Security Plan (CMSP) is not adequate. The bill would make the CMSP benefits equal to those of MassHealth so that all Massachusetts children will have access to the same level of care regardless of the program that provides their coverage.

An Act Ensuring Access to Basic Health Care for Children and Young Adults

Lead Sponsors: Senator Thomas McGee and Representative Danielle Gregoire. Senate Bill 54.

The bill expands eligibility for MassHealth coverage to youth through age 20, opening access to care in a key transition period in which low income youth have difficulty affording the higher costs of Commonwealth Care.

An Act to Assure Continuity of Health Coverage for Children

Lead Sponsors: Senator Jen Flanagan and Representative Ellen Story. HB 188 / SB 39)

The bill provides 12 – month continuous eligibility for children under CHIP and Medicaid. This helps bridge the lack of coverage families experience when their income level fluctuates over 300% of the federal poverty level, the cutoff mark for receiving CHIP and Medicaid.