Our health care system is complicated. Several new legislators and their staffers came to understand that even more today as they participated in HCFA’s incoming legislator briefing here at 30 Winter Street. Representatives Geoff Diehl, Russell Holmes, and Paul Brodeur, as well as staffers representing Senator Dan Wolf, Representative Chris Walsh, and Representative Jim Lyons took part in a two hour overview of the Massachusetts’ health care system.
Running the gamut from private insurance and public programs to care for children and seniors, these newly-elected legislators and their aides asked HCFA staff questions regarding coverage options available to individuals and families of various income levels, how different policy proposals could impact our state budget, and about ways to assist their constituents navigate our health care system to ensure they have affordable access to care.
Following the briefing, legislators and staff engaged in informal conversations with HCFA coalition leaders in order to drill deeper into areas including prescription drugs, mental health, and payment reform.
Over the next two years, health care will likely to dominate the policy agenda at the State House. Legislators will have to make difficult and important decisions that will have long-term consequences for many in the Commonwealth. Today’s briefing was hopefully just the first step in establishing relationships between HCFA and these new legislators and their staffs as we work together to improve our health care system and make it work well for all our residents.