L’Italien Champions Fixes to State Healthcare Law; Senate Approves

Andover Sen. Barbara L’Italien said she championed several amendments to a sweeping healthcare reform bill, passed by the Senate late last week.

The state Senate late last week passed healthcare reform legislation aimed at cutting costs and helping community hospitals. It also included amendments designed to help seniors and adults with disabilities and force the state to consider adopting single-payer health insurance.

Senators passed the bill 33-6. Andover Sen. Barbara L’Italien said she sponsored several amendments that allow senior residents receiving MassHealth benefits to choose assisted living homes, allow people with disabilities over age 26 to continue receiving insurance from their parents and expands access to the Medicare savings programs to reduce costs for low-income seniors on Medicare.

“Despite uncertainty and recklessness at the federal level, Massachusetts continues to show that it will do what it takes to take care of its residents,” L’Italien said. “Our government should be judged by how we treat our most vulnerable citizens,” she added.

Fifty-one of 162 amendments survived the final vote after two days of debate. The bill now moves to the House.

L’Italien’s “Frail Elder Waiver” would allow Massachusetts to petition the Federal government to allow senior citizens on MassHealth or Medicaid to reside in assisted living. Another amendment allows people with disabilities over age 26 to continue receiving coverage under their parents’ health insurance. When the Commonwealth aligned its health law to match the federal Affordable Care Act, the provision was mistakenly omitted, L’Italien explained.

Expanding access to the Medicare savings programs helps reduce costs for low-income seniors on Medicare. The senator said low-income seniors currently pay far more for insurance than people under the age 65.

The bill also requires the state to compare its current spending with a single-payer health care system, similar to Medicare, but available to everyone. “If single-payer proves to be less expensive, officials would have to develop a plan to put that model into place,” L’Italien said.

After 10:18pm on Sunday November 26th, 2017 this article available to paying WHAV members only.

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One Comment;

  1. Duncan Burns said:

    “Despite uncertainty and recklessness at the federal level” –

    The same law that every Democrat from Massachusetts sans Stephen Lynch voted for? The same law that Massachusetts CONgress Members exempted themselves, their staff, and their families from? A question that every candidate for The Third District should be asked is if they support this duality in the rule of law, one law for Congress Members, and an entirely different set of laws for the rest of us.

    Single payer will never work (nor any other legislation) simply because it doesn’t address COSTS and the monopolistic hold by the various heath industries have.

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