Speaker Deleo was on Jim Braude’s show on NECN last week, and he reiterated his call for dramatic change in the laws governing municipal health care. The Speaker is advocating a system where if the cost estimates for a locality show a savings from joining the state GIC (health care plan) that such entrance would be mandatory. It is a huge break from past positions of leadership on Beacon Hill, and most certainly a welcome one. The Speaker tells Braude that the estimated savings would be about $100 million per year. That estimate is correct, coming right from Mike Widmer and others. The Speaker attended Mayor Menino’s State of the City speech, where the Mayor again called for plan design authority for municipalities. He cited the Mayor’s speech in his remarks to Braude.
Mayor Menino appeared on the Keller at Large show, where he again called for plan design authority. He notably said, to the disbelief of Keller, that the Governor would likely sign a municipal plan design bill if it reached his desk. The Governor appeared to sit on his hands during that portion of Mayor Menino’s speech, but the Mayor attributed that to “clapping fatigue”.
Mayors throughout Massachusetts have been making this request for some time now, and we have begun to see a wee bit of political movement. That movement would not be possible without the strong leadership of Mayor Menino, who has been a strong and tireless advocate for this change. The link to the Mayor’s Keller appearance is below, along with the Braude appearance by Speaker Deleo.