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At Braintree forum, state senators sat and listened (mentions Manet CHC)

Patriot Ledger, February 26, 2015
BRAINTREE – Legislators are accustomed to talking a lot – at State House hearings, on the campaign trail, and to civic groups. But Wednesday night at Town Hall 11 state senators sat for an hour-and-a-half and listened to voters. Read more »

Boston takes a census of its homeless population

Boston Globe, February 26, 2015
More than 300 city officials and volunteers, led by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, braved the winter cold Wednesday night and walked the streets of Boston to conduct the annual count of homeless residents. For Boston's homeless population, this season's record-breaking snowstorms, low temperatures, and the loss of an important homeless shelter have brought particular hardships and tested support systems, officials said. Read more »

Jonathan Gruber, 3 others removed from Connector Board

Boston Globe, February 26, 2015
Governor Charlie Baker has removed the four members of the Massachusetts Health Connector Board appointed by his predecessor, including controversial MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. Gruber said the decision was unrelated to the controversy that erupted last year on his comments about "the stupidity of the American voter." Read more »

50 years after Selma, John Lewis on unfinished business

USA Today Capital Download video, February 25, 2015
On Capital Download, Representative John Lewis shares about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights March in Selma, disappointment over the Oscars nominations and the long way to go to a post-racial society. Read more »

Congressman Tim Walberg said he supports spending $3.6 billion to fund U.S. health centers

mlive.com, February 25, 2015
JACKSON, MI - U.S. Congressman Tim Walberg, R-Tipton, said he supports a budget measure to restore funding to health centers across the country despite a provision under the Affordable Care Act that would cut billions from healthcare providers. Read more »

Mass. budget shortfall could hit $1.5 billion

Boston Globe, February 25, 2015
Massachusetts could be facing a $1.5 billion shortfall in the coming fiscal year, forcing difficult choices on the new administration of Governor Charlie Baker and the Legislature. The estimate comes from a leading Beacon Hill watchdog, and Baker’s budget chief agreed that it is in line with the administration's own projections. Kristen Lepore insisted Baker's budget proposal will try to "minimize the impact," but she declined to say if painful cuts are coming. Read more »

Head Start program in Boston faces cuts

Boston Globe, February 25, 2015
A program that provides services to thousands of Boston's poorest families by helping toddlers prepare for kindergarten faces a possible early shutdown this year because of an 11 percent cut in state funding. Head Start is largely funded by the federal government, but the state has for many years made significant contributions to the program, which provides academic, social, and health services to the children. Read more »

Boston councilors seek new tax on alcohol

WBUR, February 24, 2015
Two Boston city councilors are proposing a new tax on beer, wine and other alcohol, with the resulting funds to go toward substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. Read more »

In D.C., Baker speaks about opioid addiction crisis

Boston Globe, February 23, 2015
WASHINGTON - Governor Charlie Baker is underscoring the severity and the wide sweep of the opioid addiction crisis in Massachusetts. In a Monday speech at a prescription drug abuse forum in Washington, he cited statistics about rising yearly number of opioid-related overdose deaths, including from heroin, in the state — up to about 1,000 in 2013. Read more »

Advocates urge Walsh: Use clout in addiction fight

Boston Herald, February 20, 2015
Advocates fighting Boston's addiction crisis are calling on Mayor Martin J. Walsh to use the power of City Hall to restore the 250-plus detox and recovery program beds lost after the crumbling Long Island Bridge was closed. Read more »

Problems worsen for two drug treatment centers

Boston Globe, February 18, 2015
Time stopped in October for two drug treatment centers on Boston’s Long Island, when the city shut down the bridgethat was the only route to their facilities. Both had to abandon their offices on the island. Their clients - poor and trying to kick drug habits — had to seek alternative services. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for treatment have been lost. Read more »

Marty Walsh wants 1,000 new mentors for school kids

Boston Herald, February 18, 2015
Mayor Martin J. Walsh put out a call yesterday looking for 1,000 adults - from business executives to scientists to City Hall employees - to step up and volunteer as mentors to help guide Boston school kids. Read more »

Amid scramble to house homeless, Boston Night Center reopens

WBUR, February 17, 2015
While Boston continues to deal with mountains of snow and extreme cold, the city is also grappling with an even larger than usual number of homeless people. Advocates for the homeless say the extreme weather, the move to ban people from sleeping at places like South Station and Logan Airport and the closing of Boston's largest shelter on Long Island - which included the shuttering of the island's substance abuse treatment beds — have created a "perfect storm" that's left them scrambling to get people indoors. Read more »

Democrats seek relief from health law penalties

Boston Globe, February 17, 2015
WASHINGTON - The official sign-up season for President Obama's health care law may be over in most of the country, but leading congressional Democrats say millions of Americans facing new tax penalties deserve a second chance. Read more »

Federal judge puts Obama's immigration orders on hold

Boston Globe, February 17, 2015
HOUSTON — The White House promised an appeal Tuesday after a federal judge in Texas temporarily blocked President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration and gave a coalition of 26 states time to pursue a lawsuit aiming to permanently stop the orders. Read more »

Mass., R.I. extend time for health care signup

Boston Globe, February 16, 2015
WASHINGTON - After a computer problem was resolved, supporters of President Obama’s health care law were out in force Sunday trying to get uninsured people signed up by the official deadline for 2015 coverage. The effort had the trappings of a get-out-the-vote drive, with e-mail reminders, telephone calls, and squads of community-level volunteers. Read more »

Big business is backing Obamacare ahead of Supreme Court hearing

Bloomberg, February 11, 2015
The Supreme Court briefs are in, and we can now say that big business backs Obamacare. The justices will hear oral arguments on March 4 in the latest case challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At issue is the act's provision of federal tax subsidies to make health insurance affordable for the less-well-off. The plaintiffs are four Virginia residents who say they can't afford coverage but claim they want to be ineligible for subsidies. If that seems like an odd position, well, ordinarily it would be. The stance becomes more understandable, though, when one peeks beneath the legal papers and sees that the plaintiffs are backed by a range of conservative and libertarian interest groups whose real goal is to cripple, if not kill, Obamacare. Read more »

House passes version of Baker's budget-fix bill

Boston Globe, February 11, 2015
The Massachusetts House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a version of Governor Charlie Baker’s proposal aimed at helping to plug the state’s urgent $768 million budget gap. The House version is mostly in line with Baker’s plan and makes almost across-the-board cuts to funding for state agencies, schools, and transportation; it diverts some tax revenue meant for the state’s rainy day fund to plug the fiscal hole; and creates a temporary corporate tax amnesty program. Read more »

Boston hospitals battle to get patients out, staff in

Boston Globe, February 11, 2015
One Boston hospital administrator called it a crisis: Surgeries canceled because there weren't enough beds, taxis hired to ferry patients who had no other way home. Read more »

Some neighborhoods getting younger, but not livelier

Boston Globe, February 10, 2015
Generation Boston is a series looking at Greater Boston's increasingly influential young adult population and its challenges, concerns, and contributions. Visit BostonGlobe.com for more. Boston is one of the youngest big cities in America, with thriving pockets of activity that increasingly attract the 20- to 34-year-old demographic. Although the youthful shift may be most evident in trendy places like Allston and South Boston, the more traditional neighborhoods of Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury are becoming increasingly young, as well. Read more »

Baker's budget fix plan causes worry

Boston Globe, February 8, 2015
Advocates for the disabled, elderly, and poor are protesting part of Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed fix to the state's urgent budget deficit, saying it will give him too much authority to make cuts to MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program. Read more »

Partners looks to mend ties, tame costs

Boston Globe, February 6, 2015
Partners HealthCare System is rethinking its expansion plans in Massachusetts as it seeks to repair relations with competing hospitals and government officials, its newly appointed chief executive said Thursday. Read more »

New Partners CEO says he will explore expanding outside of Mass. (story and interview)

WBUR, February 6, 2015
BOSTON - The incoming CEO at Partners HealthCare says the network will continue to expand, but not necessarily in Massachusetts. Dr. David Torchiana said a judge’s rejection of Partners’ plan to acquire three more hospitals in the state was clear. Read more »

Holyoke Health Center plans 'Adventure' with scavenger hunt to mark National Children's Dental Health Month

Mass Live, February 6, 2015
HOLYOKE - It's National Children's Dental Health Month and at the Holyoke Health Center, that means there's a scavenger hunt. Read more »

Gov. Baker wants to overhaul state Medicaid program

WBUR, February 5, 2015
Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that overhauling the MassHealth program will be an early priority as he looks ahead to crafting his budget proposal for the new fiscal year. Read more »

New Partners chief said he'll reassess hospital takeovers

Boston Globe, February 5, 2015
Partners HealthCare System will reassess its expansion plans in Massachusetts, focus on controlling medical costs, and seek to repair relations with competing hospitals and government officials, its newly appointed chief executive said Thursday. Read more »

Partners Healthcare taps surgeon to lead network

Boston Globe, February 5, 2015
Partners HealthCare, reeling from a rejection of its plan to take over three hospitals, has named Dr. David Torchiana, a cardiac surgeon and i--house executive, to become its next chief executive. Read more »

Mass. business leaders bet on health care tech

Boston Globe, February 4, 2015
Our tech industry will never be as glorious as Silicon Valley, but here is where we can make a name for ourselves: digital health care. That's the idea behind an effort by the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, an exclusive group of 16 influential chief executives and business leaders. Read more »

Charlie Baker unveils cuts, tax tweaks to bridge budget deficit

Boston Globe, February 3, 2015
Governor Charlie Baker Tuesday unveiled his plan to bridge Massachusetts’ urgent midyear budget gap, aiming to make about a half-billion dollars in cuts, large and small, to myriad programs, including Medicaid, transportation, substance abuse counseling, and grants for Head Start. Read more »

Lawmakers consider budget fixes

Boston Globe, February 3, 2015
Lawmakers appear poised to divert as much as 340 million otherwise destined for the state's rainy day fund to help fill a midyear budget hole of roughly $765 million. Governor Charlie Baker is scheduled to release his full plan for addressing the shortfall Tuesday. And he declined to discuss specifics in a Monday afternoon appearance with House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg. Read more »

Gov. Charlie Baker to release his plan for filling the state's $765 million budget gap on Tuesday

Mass Live, February 2, 2015
BOSTON - Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker plans to release his proposal for filling an estimated $765 million budget gap on Tuesday. Read more »

Forecasts may soon predict flu patterns

Boston Globe, February 3, 2015
The flu comes every year. Sometimes it peaks early, surprising doctors in December with a spate of fevered patients. Other times, the virus dallies until February. Some years, influenza season comes and goes with only mild illness; once in a while, it wallops with fatal force. Read more »

Vaccinate against measles

Boston Globe Editorial, February 3, 2015
MEASLES IS making a comeback. The extremely contagious - potentially life-threatening - disease was declared all-but-eradicated in 2000, after decades of immunization programs for preschool children. But reported cases of the disease in the United States, which have averaged between 50 and 100 a year for the past two decades, last year spiked to 644. The latest outbreak has been identified as beginning in Disneyland, of all places, last December. Since the beginning of this year through Jan. 30, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 102 cases in 14 states. Central to the problem is a lack of immunization. The cause is clear: parents who have refused to have their children vaccinated. Read more »

Gov. Baker eyes capital gains tax revenues to fix budget gap

WBUR, February 2, 2015
BOSTON - Gov. Charlie Baker is eyeing capital gains tax revenues to help close an estimated $765 million budget gap for the fiscal year that ends June 30. Read more »

January