Hope for sweeping healthcare reform to extend coverage to all or most of the state’s uninsured is all but dead, according to Senate President Robert E. Travaglini.
Travaglini will instead propose a stripped-down plan tomorrow designed to salvage millions in federal funding that Massachusetts is likely to lose if it does not pass some sort of healthcare plan by this week.
Well, that’s probably the logical next step — keep the federal bucks, go at it again next year. (And don’t forget the MassACT ballot initiative in November.)
By the way, check out Mitt Romney’s idea of good-faith negotiating:
In a sign of how fractured the debate has become, DiMasi described an unusually tense one-on-one conversation he had with the governor last week. The House speaker said that Romney boasted of his close personal friendship with Mike Leavitt, the US health and human services secretary, who would have a final say over whether Massachusetts continues getting federal money. According to DiMasi, Romney told him that if the Legislature passes a healthcare plan that includes a payroll tax, he would not exert his influence with Leavitt to gain federal approval of the plan.
Nice, huh? Romney’s flack Fehrnstrom has the gall to call this “uninformed speculation”, but come on — Leavitt basically laid this out on the table two weeks ago.
Let’s just be 1000% clear about something: If Governor Romney had been serious about insuring all Massachusetts residents, as he said, as opposed to merely trotting out some PowerPoint presentations and mugging for superficial press lackeys like Joe Klein; if he’d been willing to swallow hard and take a deal that had half (or more) of what he’d originally proposed; if he’d been willing to deal with the real reality of the current system of perverse incentives, as opposed to the Wizard of Oz delusions of a system that didn’t require any more dollars or require anyone’s sacrifice; if he’d been willing to take on the special interests on his own side…
If, if, if… we’d have a deal — even in spite of Travaglini’s inexplicable cravenness. (What happened to Massachusetts’ “best friend to the uninsured”? With friends like these…)
Instead, we had a PowerPointing, absentee, showboating Fraud (and I don’t think I’ve used that term for him, to date); who in the end, cared more about his own Presidential ambitions than in making sure people in his own state can see a doctor when they’re sick. That’s life in the bubble for you.
I want a governor with guts, courage and compassion, who is here, now, for us. Is that too damn much to ask? Candidates, this is now officially in your lap, whether you wanted it or not.
And for the rest of us, time to start pushing that boulder up the hill again. Come on, you knew it was going to be like this…