Tag: Governor of Massachusetts

Trashing Charlie Baker on outsourcing –uncalled for

October 15th, 2014 by
Charlie Baker (R), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Charlie Baker (R), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts

The mud-slinging continues in the campaign for Governor of Massachusetts. This time Democrat Martha Coakley is attacking Republican Charlie Baker for outsourcing jobs when he was CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care back in 1999. This is on top of the previous accusations of “raising premiums, cutting coverage for seniors, and tripling his own salary to $1.7 million.”

It’s an unfair attack. Baker should be praised instead.

Harvard Pilgrim’s IT systems were a mess in the 90s. They couldn’t pay claims in an accurate or timely manner, and as a result the company couldn’t figure out if it was making or losing money. As it turned out they were losing, and on their way to bankruptcy. Baker stepped in and righted the ship.

Outsourcing to Perot was a good move. Perot hired the existing Harvard Pilgrim IT staff in Massachusetts. In 2006, Perot hired about 200 employees in India to serve the account. Apparently this is the basis for the Coakley attack, but it’s a pretty weak one.

It’s not Harvard Pilgrim’s job to boost employment in Massachusetts. Instead the primary goal should be to deliver excellent service and value to customers. They seem to have done a good job, since they consistently rate at or near the top of the best health plans in the US.

I assume the Coakley campaign knows that the allegations about raising premiums are not to be taken seriously. Health plans have been raising prices forever –there’s no reason to single Baker out for that. And Coakley would like us to believe that Baker cut benefits for the elderly, making him sound like Paul Ryan taking a knife to Medicare. The reality is much less exciting and newsworthy. And sure Baker got a big salary boost, which is a pretty modest reward for rescuing a major company. If it had been a for-profit company you can bet the rewards would have been a heck of a lot bigger.

Baker isn’t perfect. But attacks on his competence and wisdom as a healthcare leader deserve to backfire.

To read or listen to my interviews with all the candidates for Governor of Massachusetts, check out my coverage from earlier this year.

By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams of the Health Business Group

Health Business TV: Episode 1

June 13th, 2014 by

In this first episode of Health Business TV I discuss the Castlight Health Enterprise Healthcare Summit, the Affordable Care Act’s impact on part-time employment, the VA controversy, the Massachusetts gubernatorial election, and the First Opinion app.

Leave me a comment or drop me a line to let me know what you think.

The ebook I mention, featuring interviews with all nine candidates for Governor of Massachusetts, is available for free download here.

Free ebook: Candidates for Governor of Massachusetts speak on healthcare

June 12th, 2014 by

Earlier this year I interviewed all nine candidates for Governor of Massachusetts about healthcare policy. The Democrats are holding their convention this weekend and I’m publishing this ebook as a resource for those who are participating and anyone else who wants to educate themselves on where the candidates stand on this important topic.

Click on the link below to download your PDF copy. (No registration is required.)

Candidates for MA Governor speak on Healthcare June 2014

Candidate ebook cover 6-14

Charlie Baker (R), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Charlie Baker (R), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Martha Coakley (D), Attorney General and candidate for Governor
Martha Coakley (D), Attorney General and candidate for Governor
Evan Falchuk (I), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Evan Falchuk (I), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Mark Fisher (R), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Mark Fisher (R), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Jeff McCormick (I), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Jeff McCormick (I), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Joe Avellone (D), candidate for Governor
Joe Avellone (D), candidate for Governor
Steve Grossman (D), State Treasurer and candidate for Governor
Steve Grossman (D), State Treasurer and candidate for Governor
Juliette Kayyem (D), candidate for Governor
Juliette Kayyem (D), candidate for Governor
Don Berwick (D), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts
Don Berwick (D), candidate for Governor of Massachusetts

Office of Recovery: Avellone proposes strong response to substance abuse

March 26th, 2014 by
Joe Avellone (D), candidate for Governor
Joe Avellone (D), candidate for Governor

Dr. Joe Avellone, Democratic candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, is very concerned about the impact of substance abuse. In particular, he’s zeroed in on addictions to narcotics and heroin that have arisen out of the widespread prescribing of powerful painkillers for serious and not-so-serious conditions.

His Office of Recovery would have high visibility in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and focus on getting individuals into treatment during their window of opportunity.

In this podcast interview, Avellone describes why he’s making this issue a priority, how his plan would work, and how it compares to efforts elsewhere.

Earlier I interviewed Avellone and all other candidates for Governor about healthcare policy.

By healthcare consultant David E. Williams of the Health Business Group