John E. McDonough

Guest Contributor

Stories by John E. McDonough

Baker’s big health care move

Baker’s big health care move

Revamping MassHealth offers great potential — and great risks

FOR THE THIRD time since 1996, the Massachusetts Medicaid program, called MassHealth, is preparing for transformation. After submitting a final proposal in July, state officials are anxiously awaiting a decision on the plan from the US Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services. The goals are to: first, transform how medical services are delivered to many(...)

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Obama, Clinton and the new public-option debate

Obama, Clinton and the new public-option debate

Paucity of competition in some state exchanges opens door to revisiting public health plans

THE ERA OF Democratic silence on strengthening and improving the Affordable Care Act is officially over. President Obama’s tour de force review of the ACA’s successes in the new Journal of the American Medical Association is also important for his identification of key ACA improvements needed on insurance affordability, Medicaid, prescription drug prices and more.(...)

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The art of the non-deal deal

The art of the non-deal deal

Health care ballot showdown averted, but pricing issue remains

ON MAY 31, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a new law to avert a proposed 2016 state ballot initiative that would have redistributed as much as $450 million annually from Partners HealthCare hospitals to most of the state’s other hospitals by establishing stringent limits on hospital price variation. The new law, “Chapter 115, An act relative to(...)

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House GOP health care plan is an empty backpack

House GOP health care plan is an empty backpack

Ryan's failed effort at a replacement for Affordable Care Act

THIS WEEK, US House Speaker Paul Ryan released a long-promised plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. Most of the plan, “A Better Way: Health Care,” developed by a House task force, includes familiar ideas that have been in Republican rhetoric even prior to the ACA. Coverage of the plan’s basics can be found here(...)

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Back to the future with Paul Ryan

Back to the future with Paul Ryan

House Speaker would undo key element of Affordable Care Act

THIS PAST WEEK at Georgetown University, House Speaker Paul Ryan proposed scrapping an essential component of the Affordable Care Act that bans health insurance companies from imposing pre-existing condition exclusions on consumers and prohibits the practice of “medical underwriting” to discriminate against anyone with a current or prior medical condition. Instead, he proposed, states could(...)

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Mass. health care reform turns 10

Mass. health care reform turns 10

A conservative think tank idea now reviled by the right

APRIL 12TH IS the 10th anniversary of the signing of Chapter 58, Massachusetts’s landmark universal health insurance law (An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care) that served as a key model for the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA/ObamaCare) signed in March 2010.  A more compelling example of states as “laboratories of democracy”(...)

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Behind the Massachusetts Health Connector’s rehab

Behind the Massachusetts Health Connector’s rehab

Strong management, customer focus brought exchange website back from brink

AT 11:59 PM on October 31, 2015, about 20 nervous state officials and contractors hunched around computer terminals in a non-descript office in the Charles F. Hurley Building near Beacon Hill. Among them was Louis Gutierrez, executive director of the Massachusetts Health Connector, appointed the previous February by newly inaugurated Gov. Charlie Baker. The launch(...)

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Trump’s health plan folly

Trump’s health plan folly

Would leave 21 million uninsured and create a $270-500 billion budget hole

ON MARCH 14, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a bipartisan federal budget watchdog group, released an economic analysis of the recent health proposals made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.  Their key findings: “Donald Trump’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare would cost nearly $500 billion over a decade, or $270 billion(...)

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Amazing gains in global health – 2015

Amazing gains in global health – 2015

Plenty to celebrate in efforts to lessen human suffering and disease

WE GET SO caught up these days in the Donald and Hillary and Ted and Bernie shows.  Yet there is so much else going on in the world about which Americans never hear. Permit me to draw attention to This Week in Global Health (TWiGH) which has been producing weekly live online programming on global(...)

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Sanders vs. Clinton on health care

Sanders vs. Clinton on health care

Clash between grand vision and what's important and achievable

IT’S FUNNY HOW things turn out on the campaign trail. Since all Republican presidential candidates pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, they have little to argue about. The fireworks are among Democrats as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders argue the future of US health reform and, specifically, the merits of Sanders’s new single payer/Medicare(...)

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