FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Workers Urge Legislature to Pursue ‘Careful and Comprehensive Approach’ to Healthcare Reform
Boston, MA (July 25, 2017) – In response to today’s legislative hearing convened by the Joint Committee on Ways and Means and Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, Tyrék D. Lee Sr., Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, submitted the attached written testimony that includes in part the following:
“Ensuring affordable, accessible and high-quality healthcare for all is essential. With growing uncertainty around the future of the Affordable Care Act and the Commonwealth’s own FY18 budget limitations, the healthcare workers of 1199SEIU understand the need to strengthen, review and thoughtfully adjust both MassHealth and other related state healthcare coverage laws. However, we also strongly believe that a successful approach that addresses these issues must include a broad range of solutions to reducing the cost of delivering healthcare in the Commonwealth. A comprehensive approach must not simply reduce benefits or shift MassHealth populations but also include strategies to ensure the financial viability of community hospitals, increase alternative payment models and advance the creation of accountable care organizations while avoiding excessive sacrifice on the part of either consumers or the low-wage health care workforce. To ensure we address these complicated and important matters, we urge you to take the time needed to implement careful reform with a wide range of stakeholder input.
While we greatly appreciate the attention on these very important issues under debate today, we urge the Legislature to take a careful and comprehensive approach to reforming MassHealth and the state’s healthcare delivery system. The Commonwealth has led the nation only because we’ve consistently recognized that government, employers and individuals must work together to provide quality, affordable healthcare for all Massachusetts residents.”
Representing more than 56,000 healthcare workers throughout Massachusetts and over 400,000 workers across the East Coast,1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. Our mission is to achieve affordable, high quality healthcare for all. 1199SEIU is part of the 2.1 million member Service Employees International Union.