What’s Up With The Federal Waiver?

Joshua Archambault, Director of Health Care Policy at the local Pioneer Institute of Public Policy Research (and a devoted CommonHealth reader) posts an intriguing question on the Institute’s blog today: What’s going on with the federal waiver that allowed Massachusetts to move forward with health reform in 2006? It’s been extended several times, he writes, but is there something happening behind the scenes that we should know about?

He writes:

…whatever happened to the temporarily extended Massachusetts MassHealth 1115 waiver?

Simply put, this waiver from the federal government allowed the 2006 health reform to become a reality. The waiver was last renegotiated by the Patrick Administration in 2008, and was extended until June 30, 2011. Quietly this summer, that deadline was pushed back twice, and was set to expire yesterday.

I have just learned that the waiver was extended for another 30 days. So I am left to ask–what is the issue(s) holding up a longer term renewal?

In a summer of earthquakes and tropical storms in Boston, is there another storm brewing behind closed doors over the waiver?

If anyone has any answers, please share.

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