State Rep. Jeff Sanchez, newly tapped by House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo as House Ways and Means chairman, is promising a “thoughtful” approach to fixing Mass Health, working with Gov. Charlie Baker on his reform legislation.
“We have to be really thoughtful about how we go about this because this is people’s lives that are at stake and we have to make sure we’re careful,” Sanches said on Boston Herald Radio today.
Referring to Baker’s push action on Mass Health within 60 days, with palns to move people off Medicaid, Sanchez said, “We’re taking into consideration what the governor has to say as well as the members and people from the outside. Right now I need to first and foremost meet my new staff, spend a little time with them, get their direct understanding of the budget, the process, the principles that they’ve worked on in this past budget process. And then figure out what are the details of what the governor’s ideas mean and take into consideration the members and other folks that are outside that have so much to gain or lose by all these decisions that we make.
“My sense is there’s this impending cloud in DC of where health care policy and finance may go,” Sanchez said. “This constant repeal, replace, search destroy. I don’t know what you want to call it but at the end of the day it’s a big deal…. the conversation in DC is kind of going completely against everything that we invested ourselves in. We have to be really careful in what we do because there are so many interlocking pieces in there. Individual mandates, the subsidies, the market reforms that we put together. That’s the glue that keeps all these pieces together.
“I’m going to give it my best and we’re going to work towards working with the governor and everything,” Sanchez said. “I think we’ve done a great job working with him. I have a great Senate counterpart in Karen Spilka and the Senate President. And the Speaker has been great in terms of listening to me. He’s given me this honor to work with him and the rest of the members of the House to help make a big impact in everybody’s life. I just want to do my best.”