Browse by Topic: Legislation

Understanding Legal Challenges to the Affordable Care Act: A Brief Review of Key Issues

This educational brief describes the key elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and provides an overview of California v. Texas, a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court that seeks to overturn the ACA. Also included in this brief is a discussion of recent relevant case history and how the arguments in California v. Texas build upon prior legal challenges to the ACA.

Potential Coverage and Federal Funding Losses for Massachusetts if California v. Texas Ultimately Overturns the Affordable Care Act

California v. Texas, a case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The court is expected to begin hearing arguments on this case on November 10, 2020. A final ruling that overturns the ACA would have widespread implications, affecting every state in the nation.

Summary of the Behavioral Health Provisions of Governor Baker’s 2019 Health Care Bill

On October 18, 2019, Governor Charlie Baker submitted House Bill 4134, An Act to Improve Health Care by Investing in Value, to the Massachusetts Legislature. The bill proposes a comprehensive set of policies designed to address barriers to behavioral health care access, including the establishment of a new system that would incentivize providers and health plans to spend more of their funds on primary care and behavioral health services while rebalancing spending in other areas.

Potential Coverage and Federal Funding Losses for Massachusetts if Texas v. United States Ultimately Overturns the Affordable Care Act

Texas v. United States, a case currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The court’s decision in the case could be announced any day and the case may ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court. A final ruling that overturns the ACA would have widespread implications, affecting every state in the nation.

A History of Promoting Health Coverage in Massachusetts

This brief provides an overview of the steps that Massachusetts has taken to establish a functioning insurance market that provides consumers with meaningful access to health coverage. It includes a review of statutory and regulatory provisions in place today, and provides context for key health reform initiatives that have occurred over the past 30+ years. This brief is structured around four key components of a functioning market for health coverage:

Chapter 224 Tracking Tool, Updated November 2017

The fourth edition of the tracking tool provides a detailed description of key components of Chapter 224, highlighting the progress the state has made in its implementation of the law as of November 2017. This tool is designed for policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders who wish to track when and how state leaders have addressed policy issues pertaining to Chapter 224.

CHIP Reauthorization Update: Congressional Inaction Puts States in Limbo

Federal authorization for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired on September 30, 2017. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have filed a bill to extend CHIP for five years, but Congress did not act quickly enough to prevent the current authorization from expiring. Unspent federal CHIP funds may be carried over into the next fiscal year and Massachusetts’s current allotment of federal CHIP funds should allow the state to continue to use CHIP funds for benefits until early 2018.

Overview of the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

This chart pack provides an overview of the Senate-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, highlighting some of its key provisions, particularly as they relate to Medicaid. Developed by Manatt Health, this chart pack was commissioned by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation for the Massachusetts Coalition for Coverage and Care.

The Importance of CHIP Reauthorization for Massachusetts

This report describes the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Massachusetts and its role as part of MassHealth. Though there is no expiration date for CHIP in federal law, Congress has authorized funding of the program through September 30, 2017. Without Congressional action, a majority of states, including Massachusetts, will exhaust their current federal CHIP allocation by March 2018. This report discusses the importance of CHIP and the broader health policy debate, including reauthorization, now taking place in Washington.

10 Years of Impact: A Literature Review of Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006

Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006—“An Act Providing Access To Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care”—was signed into law by Governor Mitt Romney on April 12, 2006. The groundbreaking law sought near-universal health care coverage for the residents of Massachusetts by expanding Medicaid, creating a new program of subsidized insurance, enacting changes to the health insurance market, and requiring adults to have health insurance unless an affordable option was not available.

Chapter 224 Tracking Tool, Updated August 2015

This updated edition of the tracking tool provides a detailed description of key components of Chapter 224, highlighting the progress the state has made in its implementation of the law as of August 2015. This tool is designed for policymakers, advocates, and other stakeholders who wish to track when and how state leaders have addressed policy issues pertaining to Chapter 224.

MassHealth and the Importance of Continued Federal Funding for CHIP

Unless Congress acts, federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will run out soon after September 2015. On March 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would fund CHIP for two more years. The Senate is expected to take up the bill in mid-April. This report, written by Robert Seifert of the Center for Health Law and Economics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, examines the serious implications for Massachusetts if federal funding for CHIP is not extended.