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2 Connector board members censure Cahill

Call comments on health care plan ‘uneducated’

‘The only reason that I can see him come out now saying that is to stand out for his own self-centered political ambitions,’ board member Celia Wcislo said. ‘The only reason that I can see him come out now saying that is to stand out for his own self-centered political ambitions,’ board member Celia Wcislo said.
State House News Service / March 19, 2010

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Two days after Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill slammed national health care overhaul efforts and declared that Massachusetts’s own endeavors had largely failed, two members of the board implementing the state plan fired back, calling Cahill “uneducated’’ on the topic and describing his statements as harmful to uninsured Americans.

“To the extent that he’s trying to do damage to national reform, he’s harming millions of people nationally, and he’s also harming Massachusetts,’’ said Nancy Turnbull, a member of the state Connector Authority board, the entity that oversees insurance programs authorized under the 2006 health care law.

Cahill, an independent candidate for governor this year, said Tuesday that the authority had failed in its efforts and had largely focused on heavily subsidized insurance programs.

“The only reason that I can see him come out now saying that is to stand out for his own self-centered political ambitions,’’ added Celia Wcislo, also a member of the board.

In charged language that members of the authority’s board have largely eschewed, Turnbull said Cahill’s comments indicated “how ignorant he is’’ and she suggested he “actually educate himself about health reform.’’

Cahill predicted Tuesday that the country would go bankrupt within four years if President Obama and Congress follow the Massachusetts health care model, warning against dramatic expansion of access and suggesting that the state curb publicly subsidized benefits. He said the state’s 2006 health care expansion has wreaked havoc with the state budget and blamed Governor Deval Patrick for “very little, if any, oversight.’’

Patrick and his aides defended their management of the plan and noted the state’s record insured rate of more than 97 percent. They also point to independent analyses showing that the plan has added little to the state budget.