Massachusetts’ state primaries took place last Tuesday, paving the way for the general election in November. Of note, at the federal level Senate Ed Markey defeated Congressman Joe Kennedy, III in a Democratic primary, along with Congressmen Neal, Lynch and Moulton who also won their primary races. At the state level, incumbents, Senator James Welch and Representative David Nangle, lost their primary bids, and of the 21 open House seats, 12 new members have been unofficially decided as they do not have general election opposition. A full list of the state-level results can be found, here. Ahead of the November elections, MassBio CEO Bob Coughlin signed onto the “A Day for Democracy” pledge. This pledge is a non-partisan initiative that encourages leaders across the United States to pledge to increase voter registration and participation of their employees through time off and/or providing resources to help employees register and access their right to vote. You can learn more, here.
On Friday, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met to discuss the implications of making the Medicare telehealth expansions allowed during COVID-19 permanent. The Commission strongly agreed on continuing incentive to expand telehealth, but with safeguards against overutilization and fraud.
Over the weekend, field teams in Massachusetts spread out across 15 locations to encourage people to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to connect residents of these communities with resources as part of the Baker Administration’s new campaign to address the five communities in Massachusetts that have shown the most persistently high COVID-19 rates – Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, and Revere. The campaign is expected to feature billboard ads, digital and social media messaging, multilingual field teams, phone and text outreach, and communications with local organizations.