July 30, 2018/Press Releases

Governor Baker Continues Assault on Healthcare Coverage for Working Families and Most Vulnerable Residents

Monday, July 30, 2018

Emily Fitzmaurice, Massachusetts Democratic Party, 617-939-0808

Governor Baker Continues Assault on Healthcare Coverage for Working Families and Most Vulnerable Residents

BOSTON – Today, while many commemorate the 53rd anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, which have provided millions of Massachusetts residents with access to healthcare and increased economic security, Governor Charlie Baker continues his attempts to strip healthcare and cut services for the state’s neediest residents.

“Millions of Americans, including our seniors, disabled, and low-income families, continue to live in fear as Republicans, including Governor Baker, remain vigilant in their attempts to strip healthcare and services from those most in need,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford. “By imposing restrictions on coverage, cutting funding from vital health programs, and trying to shift low-income residents onto more expensive plans, Governor Baker has fought from day one to roll back coverage for working families and those most in need of services and coverage.”

In his latest attempts to strip healthcare access and services, Governor Baker vetoed millions in funding for crucial healthcare programs and coverage in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget.

Baker’s cuts included:

  • $4 million for MassHealth programs to support seniors and adult day health programs, which serve some of our state’s neediest residents
  • $11.8 million in funding for pediatric patients on MassHealth receiving ongoing, complex healthcare services
  • $250,000 from local mental health programs
  • $108,445 from a program to support families of individuals with autism, including those on MassHealth
  • $800,000 from programs to provide school-based healthcare services and education programming
  • $150,000 from preventative care programs for at-risk communities
  • $1 million for Western Massachusetts regional hospitals to handle new Medicaid requirements
  • $100,000 from a program to train community health workers that help low-income residents in the Worcester and MetroWest areas access medical and social services
  • $50,000 from programs that help provide transportation to healthcare services for people living on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket
  • $150,000 from the ForsythKids program, which provides needy children with access to dental care
  • $250,000 from the Stop Stroke program, which provides treatment for stroke patients and on-going prevention services

These cuts come after the Governor’s plan to move 140,000 working parents onto more expensive health plans with higher premiums and fewer services was soundly rejected by the Massachusetts Legislature – twice. Even the Trump Administration, which continues its radical attempts to sabotage and repeal the Affordable Care Act, denied Governor Baker’s requests to change the care and services available to these working families.

In the latest budget, Governor Baker also vetoed a section that extends a program in Massachusetts to provide patients with access to prescription manufacturer rebates and coupons for their medications.

“Just like his time as a health insurance executive, Governor Baker is only focused on slashing funding and cutting coverage – while completely disregarding the impact it will have on working families across the Commonwealth,” continued Bickford. “We need a plan from the Governor on how to address the costs and affordability of healthcare with real reforms that actually reduce costs, like cracking down on prescription drug pricing and investing in prevention services and care. It’s time the Governor look past the bottom line and end his assault on our most vulnerable residents.”