Initially targeted to begin July 1, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a three-month delay for paid leave payroll taxes – payroll contributions will now begin October 1. The paid family and medical leave program was launched so workers can take care of themselves and their families without facing financial crises and it will cost roughly $800 million. Additionally, on Wednesday the Massachusetts Prescription Drug Affordability Coalition hosted a Health Care Action Day at the State House to advocate for lower prescription drug costs. During this event advocates asked lawmakers to support the Senate version of MassHealth prescription drug reforms and delivered “checks” to senators and representatives for the forecasted $70M in savings from that proposal.
In Congress, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing, “Pathways to Universal Health Coverage,” during which Democrats emphasized their goal to achieve universal coverage and Republicans highlighted risks of single-payer proposals.
The state’s FY2020 Budget deliberations continue this week with a goal of finalizing a compromise budget before the start of the state’s new fiscal year on July 1.
The Senate HELP Committee will hear from 6 witnesses during its Tuesday hearing on the “Lower Health Care Costs Act.” Additionally, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation will hold an event on Thursday in Washington D.C. where an expert panel will discuss the impact of drug pricing controls on biopharmaceutical innovation.”