In The News: Health Care

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My Turn: Why are conservatives so frightened by ObamaCare?

Nov 17 2014

By Davy Jones, The Examiner

Would you believe Forbes Magazine (a conservative publication)? If so, you should know that in 2012, Forbes quoted Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers foundation, an independent watchdog agency, as having said, “I think it has been a huge success. Romney should be proud of it. It has been one of the biggest policy achievements in this state over the last 25 years.”
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Editorial: The retiree dilemma

Sep 27 2014

The Boston Herald

Among those items of unfinished business the Patrick administration - and this sitting of the Legislature - leave behind is any attempt to reform the health care benefits paid to retired municipal workers that are bankrupting the state’s poorest communities.A new report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation documents in distressing detail the scope of the problem. They studied spending for retiree health care by nine of the 10 municipalities with the lowest per capita income in the state (data for Fall River wasn’t available).
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Report: Retiree health costs equal nearly 20 percent of tax bills for single-family homeowners in Springfield, Holyoke

Sep 24 2014

By Jack Flynn, The Republican

Expanding health care costs for retired municipal workers equal nearly 20 percent of the property tax paid by the average single-family homeowner in Springfield and Holyoke, an analysis by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation has found.
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Retiree health costs straining budgets in poorer cities

Sep 22 2014

By Andy Metzger, State House New Service / WWLP

Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation analyzed the impact of growing retiree health costs on nine of the 10 cities with the lowest per capita incomes. In North Adams, for example, retiree health care amounts to 22 percent of the city’s property tax levy, or $445 on the average annual tax bill in North Adams. “Not only are property taxpayers funding retiree health care at the expense of other services, they are also funding a benefit that most of them do not receive,” the MTF report stated. “Few residents have access to any retiree health care benefits themselves, let alone the generous ones provided by municipalities.”

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WEEKLY ROUNDUP - FIRE AWAY

Aug 31 2014

By Andy Metzger, Cape Cod Today / State House news Service

News of the state's ongoing negotiations to secure a five-year federal waiver was less forthcoming. The waiver dates back to 1997, undergirds Massachusetts efforts at providing universal health care and health care cost control, and represents the biggest fiscal risk in the near future, according to Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Michael Widmer. The current, short-term waiver expires Sept. 12. The Patrick administration is mum about what's up for discussion, but experts told the News Service that urban hospital funding, the length of the waiver, and cost-sharing issues are likely fueling the talks.
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A New Study Says Romneycare Has Saved Thousands Of Lives

May 7 2014

By Brett LoGiurato, AP / Yahoo Finance

According to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the state spends about $91 million more each year on health costs compared to the years before the law was enactment
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Lancaster selectman: OPEB costs add up to $3.6 million

Apr 24 2014

By Michael Hartwell, Sentinel & Enterprise News

He endorsed a February report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation finding that municipalities in the commonwealth have an aggregate $30 billion in unfunded OPEB liabilities.
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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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