1. First closed door meeting between Governor Patrick and Legislative leaders is today.
The first meeting between Bob DeLeo, Terry Murray, and Governor Patrick is today at the State House. The meeting is closed to the public. This is their first such meeting since November, and they will be outlining their legislative agendas. Of course this means they will be discussing how to raise your taxes and take your guns.
2. Partners HealthCare hit with $42M Jones-Patrick Care fine
Last month the Boston Business Journal reported that Partners HealthCare was hit with a $42M high-cost hospital tax. This tax was a result of the Jones-Patrick health cost control legislation which the BBJ has termed "Soviet style."
The state's largest health care system posted a quarterly operating loss of $2 million due to a tax levied against it for operating some of the most expensive hospitals in Massachusetts.
Partners HealthCare, the parent organization of Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, cited a one-time charge of $42 million levied on high-cost hospitals, a provision on the new state health care cost containment law, in the loss. The hospital operator booked the charge in its fiscal-year fourth quarter, which ended Sept. 30. For the same period in 2011, Partners reported operating income of $55 million. Boston Children's Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center also were hit with the state charge, to the tune of $8 million and $10 million respectively.
As one of the best research hospitals in the nation, one would think that Partners could have put that money to better use than the government. Will this $42M hold back the cure for cancer?
President Obama is set to announce that Chauck Hagel is his choice for Secretary of Defense today.
4. Joe Sheehan's New Position Announcement
The State House News Service routinely publishes the movement of employees on Beacon Hill. Our good friend Joe Sheehan sent out a rather humorous new job notification to the SHNS folks, and they ran with it.
While noting it's "just not the same as getting some sweet PR gig," JOSEPH SHEEHAN, legislative aide to former Rep. Paul Adams and a former aide to former Rep. Paul Loscocco, recently informed the News Service that his next move is "to crawl through the Alabama mud of Fort McClellan, Alabama for 8 weeks of Officer Candidate School." The Catholic University of America grad says he's grateful for the E-5 compensation he'll receive, but pointed out that it's a lot less than he'd make at Rasky, O'Neill, or in the governor's office.
Bravo Joe! and good luck.
5. 2012's real winners in Massachusetts? Consultants
The millions of dollars spent by Massachusetts congressional candidates was a boon to political consultants from Virginia to California.
All together, the candidates in the three most expensive Massachusetts congressional races spent four times more on out-of-state operatives than local consultants, according to an analysis of financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.