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Governor Patrick keeps us in the dark

Posted by John McDonough  January 28, 2014 08:26 PM

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Just watched Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick deliver his final State of the State address. I have always appreciated and admired Deval Patrick and continue to do so. He's been a very good governor, and his successor should hope to do at least half as well. He was much more instrumental in the successful implementation of Massachusetts health reform than was the guy, Mitt Romney, who got the credit.

And...

I was waiting to hear the Governor share with the Commonwealth his plans to get the Health Insurance Connector website working at an acceptable rate. It's nearly four months now since it's been officially and completely dysfunctional. And now we know that the Administration was warned of this impending calamity as early as last July. If there has not been a conspiracy of silence in leveling with the public about what's gone wrong and how it will be fixed, our responsible state officials, including Governor Patrick, are all doing a fine imitation of one.

So what did the Governor have to say? Here's what I was able to hear:

"...fix the Connector website ... solutions not just fault."

That's it.

This is unacceptable. I can't name a single Massachusetts official who is leveling with the public on this national embarrassment. From what I hear, second and third hand, four months into this disaster, the Patrick Administration has no plan.

No plan. No explanation. No hope. By federal stats, we're the worst in the nation in enrollment, number 50 out of 50. Other states -- Minnesota, Oregon, Maryland -- are facing their own website catastrophes. In those states, their Governors are out front offering explanations to their citizens.

Massachusetts deserves better. And we deserve to hear it from the Governor. It should have been tonight. Now it should be tomorrow. Level with us. 

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

John E. McDonough is a professor of practice at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the author of the book “Inside National Health Reform”, published in 2011 by More »

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