In The News: Health Care

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Editorial: As retiree health costs loom, towns need tougher reforms

Feb 24 2014

The Boston Globe

Many Massachusetts residents know that public pension liabilities pose a serious fiscal threat. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation reminds everyone that the unfunded retiree health care liabilities of cities and towns, which now stands at $30 billion, is more than double the unfunded pension liability. Patrick deserves credit for pushing such an important, but politically difficult, bill in his last year in office. But getting this problem under control it will require a more aggressive bill than the governor is now offering.
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Editorial: Facing reality in Boston

Jan 16 2014

The Providence Journal

A report this month from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-oriented oversight group, underlines the severity of the problem across Massachusetts. Pension costs and health care for current and retired municipal employees continue to squeeze local budgets: Those costs grew 23 percent from 2007 to 2013. The MTF warned that “funding for schools, public safety, and other services will be sacrificed in order to pay for the unaffordable obligations taken on by cities and towns over the past decades.”

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Editorial: Massachusetts' public pension system can't live up to pledges

Oct 16 2013

The Republican

“A variety of factors account for this reality, including legislation to enhance benefits and provide early retirement incentives,” the report said. The MTF's report also noted that the retirement systems had failed to achieve what it called “the 8 percent or 8.25 percent target for annual earnings on pension assets.”
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Report: Pension debt soaring for cities, towns

Oct 15 2013

The Salem News

Sounding a fiscal warning alarm to state officials and municipal leaders alike, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has cited an update showing that cities, towns and the state remain dangerously underfunded when it comes to public pension and long-term health benefits — and that the situation is growing worse.
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Romneycare and Obamacare

Sep 29 2013

AP / The Providence Journal

The fiscally conservative Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has called Romneycare “a well thought-out piece of legislation.” Its sharpest critics, the group noted, are from out of state or single-payer advocates on the left.
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Obamacare vs. Romneycare: Lessons for today's 'shutdown' debacle

Sep 29 2013

By Brad Knickerbocker, The Christian Science Monitor

“There’s a lot of wild accusations that the law is breaking the bank in Massachusetts, and that is simply not the case,” foundation president Michael Widmer told Forbes during the 2012 presidential campaign. “I think the state’s healthcare reform has been a huge success and is probably the best policy achievement in the last 25 years.”
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Game soon over on Obamacare

Sep 25 2013

By Froma Harrop, Providence Journal

The fiscally conservative Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation praises Romneycare. The program’s sharpest critics, the group says, are from out of state or single-payer advocates on the left.
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The Massachusetts (health care) experiment

Jun 4 2013

By Amanda Gengler, CNN Money

Still with more employees signing up, overall benefits costs rose -- the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation estimates that businesses spent an extra $500 million in 2012 due to reform.
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Most towns poorly prepared to pay for retirement benefits

Mar 4 2013

By David Riley and Michael Morton and Laura Krantz, MetroWest Daily News

“Over time, it will take more and more of the budget,” said Michael Widmer, president of the business-backed Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which issued two recent reports criticizing the benefits. “There’s no dodging it.”
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Patrick bill targets unfunded liabilities

Feb 26 2013

By Michael Hartwell, The Lowell Sun

Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, called the freeze a "poison pill." He said the benefits promised to government employees within the state were unrealistically high and provide much more than what any private-sector employer gives today. Widmer added that the bill will give few savings over the next decade.
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