Policy Agenda: Publicly Funded Health Care
Massachusetts High Tech Council members and leaders include producers of innovative health care related products, purchasers of employee health care coverage and consumers of health care services. Council members are increasingly concerned with the growing risk that the Commonwealth’s costs for providing health coverage to low income residents via MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, will “crowd out” state investments in other key priorities including education, transportation and economic development.
Key Data and Metrics
- Proposed MassHealth spending for FY20:
- $16.5 billion overall, approximately 40% of the state’s annual budget when federal reimbursements and matching funds are included. (Source: Mass. Exec. Office of Health and Human Services)
- $6.6 billion (or 21%) of the total revenue raised by the Commonwealth itself, up from 15% in FY00. (Source: Mass. Exec. Office of Health and Human Services)
- MassHealth provides coverage to 1.9 million Massachusetts residents, 27% of the state’s overall population. (Source: Mass. Exec. Office of Health and Human Services)
Council leaders believe that immediate steps and sustained efforts are required in order to control the cost of publicly funded health care in Massachusetts, secure the financial underpinnings of the MassHealth/Medicaid program and address MassHealth’s impacts on the overall fiscal stability of the Commonwealth.
Specifically, the Council supports policies that will:
- Encourage the use of innovative heath care coverage and delivery models including accountable care organizations, value-based insurance coverage and telemedicine.
- Address the increased and unsustainable costs the Commonwealth is incurring to provide health care coverage thorough MassHealth and the Health Care Connector.
- Enhance structural controls to effectively contain costs of the MassHealth program, including through an independent MassHealth Fiscal Control Board.
- Identify and adopt enforceable overall MassHealth growth, cost and spending benchmarks and caps.
- Identify opportunities to address cost impacts of pharmaceuticals on public health spending.