In The News: Budget

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Baker prepares for ACA repeal, but budgets for status quo

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Jan 27 2017

By Colin Young, State House News Service / The Daily News

Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the uncertainty around the ACA left the administration without many good options as it prepared its budget. “It’s tough, and I think that the health care landscape is very tumultuous and no one really knows, right, we don’t have a crystal ball, and so you have to go forward under the law as it is today and try to work as best you can,” she said. “I don’t envy the administration for that, because it is a particularly trying time in health care.”
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Baker Proposes $40 Billion Budget That Would Restore Parts Of Original Mass. Health Reform Law

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Jan 26 2017

By Steve Brown, WBUR

While applauding the move to restore money to the rainy day fund and the focus on health care costs, Eileen McAnneny of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation is not so sure about charging businesses who don't cover their workers. "I think the governor rightfully pointed out the differences between the Massachusetts health care reform law and the ACA," she said. "But I'm not sure that assessment is the appropriate move, but I look forward to having that debate and that dialogue."
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Taxpayer group: Lawmaker pay hike adds to challenges

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Jan 26 2017

By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / The Lowell Sun

While the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation's president on Tuesday expressed concern about the expense associated with the sweeping pay hike package, a former Republican governor said he would sign it were he in the governor's shoes. "We do have a concern that we would add to a deficit at a time that the state has fiscal challenges," Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny said Tuesday.
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Baker budget proposal seeks to return to pre-ACA health care options

Jan 25 2017

By Lauren Dezenski, Politico

“I think returning to the Massachusetts model would certainly be helpful for the commonwealth,” said Eileen McAnneny, president of the right-leaning Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, adding, “I don’t envy the administration ... it is a particularly trying time in health care.”
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Gov. Charlie Baker defends proposed $2,000-per-worker health insurance fee

Jan 25 2017

By Shira Schoenberg, MassLive

Eileen McAnneny, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the focus on health care costs "is very necessary and long overdue." But McAnneny said she has reservations about the employer assessment. "Having a $300 million new assessment on employers is a big amount by any measure," McAnneny said. McAnneny said the problem is with the ACA for letting someone who is offered employer-based coverage take MassHealth. "Essentially, employers are being held accountable for decisions made at a federal level," McAnneny said.
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Attleboro area lawmakers balk at pay hike

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Jan 25 2017

By Jim Hand, The Chronicle

Prior to the vote, Eileen McAnneny, head of Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, said the state should offer salaries comparable to other states, with the cost of the raises offset by spending cuts. "It is vital that we don't further add to the deficit. Therefore, we agree with the recommendation of the special advisory commission that any increases should be absorbed within the existing budgets for the respective agencies, and not add to the bottom line," she said. "In other words, the cost of these raises will come at the expense of something else."
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Baker targets new revenue to help 'wrestle' budget into balance

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Jan 25 2017

By Katie Lannan, State House News Service / The Telegram

McAnneny praised Baker's "improvement to fiscal management," including a change in the way deposits are made to the stabilization Baker proposed the deposits be made in two phases, including a deposit of 50 percent of capital gains revenue in excess of roughly $1 billion during the budgetary process, and a deposit of 50 percent of excess tax revenue above benchmark at the end of the fiscal year. The new method provides for a $98 million deposit into the fund in 2018 with a potential for an additional deposit based on a year-end surplus, according to Baker's office.
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Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker voices opposition to broad-based tax increase

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Jan 24 2017

By Gintautas Dumcius, MassLive

"He outlined his list of accomplishments in trying to move the commonwealth forward by doing a lot of the grunt work of getting agencies to run better, streamline processes and all of that, so I think it was very much in line with how he governs," said Eileen McAnneny, head of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "I think what was noticeable was there was no mention of health care costs given that that seems to be an increasing focus of the administration and how to deal with the growing costs of Medicaid," she added. "There was no mention of that in state of the state so I found that interesting."
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Agency that spends $2b a year wants to cap payments to hospitals

Jan 24 2017

By Priyanka Dayal McCluskey, The Boston Globe

Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a member of the GIC board, acknowledged she has some reservations about setting rates. But current efforts to control costs, including a 2012 state law, have not been enough, she said. “We are trying to think longer term,” she said. “The caps will begin to address the provider price variation as somewhat of a blunt instrument. “I do think five years after Massachusetts enacted reforms targeting health care cost containment, we haven’t made significant progress.”
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Baker's budget to add $91 million for schools, $40 million in local aid

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Jan 23 2017

By Michael Norton, State House News Service / The Berkshire Eagle

In this year's state budget, Chapter 70 aid rose by more than $116 million, or 2.6 percent, and unrestricted aid by $42 million, or 4.3 percent, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. The foundation predicted in December that funding in the two accounts combined would rise by between $100 million and $150 million in next year's budget, which will likely be wrapped up this summer after the House and Senate reconcile versions of the budget based on the bill to be filed by Baker.
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