KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

In The Statehouses: Localities Vs. Unions In Mass.; Supporters To Rally for SustiNet in Conn.

WBUR: Municipal Health Proposal Key As House Begins Budget Debate
Massachusetts House lawmakers kick off a busy week on Beacon Hill Monday with full chamber negotiations over the state budget. ... The biggest point of contention in the budget is the [Speaker Robert] DeLeo-backed provision giving cities and towns the ability to alter employee health plans without union approval. At least 50 Democrats have reportedly signed on to an amendment that would soften that provision (4/25). 

The Associated Press/Boston Globe: Health Insurance Debate Looms In Mass. House
House Ways and Means Committee includes a proposal allowing cities and towns to change co-payments, deductibles and other aspects of health plans without first getting approval from public employee unions (4/25).

The Associated Press/Boston Globe: Coalition To Rally For Conn. Health Care Network
Advocates for universal health care plan to rally at the state Capitol in an attempt to save Connecticut's planned SustiNet system. The SustiNet system would initially pool everyone from state employees and retirees to the uninsured and needy into a single health care system. Advocates say it could potentially save the state $226 million to $277 million a year (4/24).

The Connecticut Mirror: SustiNet Backers Not Giving Up On Public Option
Supporters of the proposed SustiNet state-run health plan were meeting Wednesday night when word trickled in that lawmakers had reached an agreement on the proposal. It would not include offering state-run insurance to the public, a key goal of supporters. But it would create a SustiNet cabinet to oversee health reform efforts (Levin Becker, 4/22).

MSNBC/AP: Analysis: Mo. Prescription Drug Program May End
For a dozen years, Missouri has offered low-income senior citizens some type of aid to pay for their prescription drugs. But that may be about to end. The Missouri Rx Plan, which helps pay the medicine costs of 212,000 seniors and disabled residents, is due to expire Aug. 28 unless lawmakers renew it. So far, they have not done so. And a Senate budget plan is banking on its demise, redirecting millions of dollars that normally would fund the prescription program to other government purposes (Lieb, 4/24). 

Des Moines Register: Mental Health Reform Sought As Hundreds Of Needy Iowans Unable To Access Help
Both Republican and Democratic legislators and Iowa's governor have said they want to reform the (mental health) system this legislative session, to reduce waiting lists and provide more equitable services. But reform efforts have stalled because of differences in approaches by the Iowa House and Senate (Clayworth, 4/24). 


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