On the Campaign Trail, 2/28/18

Today we held signs at the Attleboro train station. Several hundred passengers boarded six trains between 6 to 8 am, while I chatted with commuters. Three of our volunteers held signs and wished everyone ‘Good Morning”. It was a beautiful day and a good time for all.
But today’s high point was my visit to the Senior Housing program on North Ave. I met with fifteen seniors sharing donuts and coffee.  I sang a few Disney songs and played the guitar, with my favorite song “When You Wish Upon A Star.” Then we talked about the issues. The seniors were concerned about Medicare, Mass Health, Safety in Schools, and especially Mental Healthcare in Massachusetts.
The seniors felt that mental health issues were the key to random violence in schools  I strongly urged that the Mass. legislature strengthen our mental health budget. This will be a top priority for me in the state house along with school safety. I am against teachers carrying guns in schools. If need be, the state ought to consider helping towns and cities afford police patrolling entrance points into public schools. The decisions on using police should be made by each city and town, with subsequent financial help from the state.
It was a great discussion yesterday with our Attleboro seniors!


      As Attleboro’s state representative, one of my highest priorities will be to protect Mass Heath and the Mass Connector. I fully expect the federal government to switch to block grants for Medicaid, which will threaten the 2.8 million Massachusetts residents who receive Mass Health today. While block grants aren’t mandated yet, we need to prepare for potential cuts during President Trump’s term in office. I hope I am wrong.
      We all know family members, friends, and individuals whose health is maintained because they are covered by Mass Health and the Mass Connector. But did you know that our Mass. state employees, including teachers and retired teachers, are having their own health insurance threatened today?
      The Group Insurance Commission (G.I.C.) Board of Directors voted 13-8 last week to terminate health coverage for state employees/retirees who have three of the six health plans that G.I.C. oversees. The G.I.C. eliminated coverage by the Tufts Health Plan, Fallon Community Health, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Instead, they told state employees and retirees, some 200,000+ Massachusetts citizens, they must switch over to three other health plans with no guarantees they keep their current doctors, coverage, and cost.

      G.I.C. claims they cut these three insurance plans to save the Commonwealth 21.8 million dollars, without asking the state legislature to even vote on their decision!
      Jan and I are covered thru Harvard Pilgrim Health Care so we are personally affected. Granted, we would still have health insurance but will it be as comprehensive? Will it cost more? Will we be allowed to keep our doctors? We don’t know anything about the three health plans G.I.C. is ordering us to accept.
      Our State Senator Paul Feeney told me he is on a Senatorial committee that will interview the G.I. C. commissioners this week. Senator Feeney wants to order G.I.C. to call a 90-day moratorium on their mandated change in health coverage. But the future still remains cloudy for 200.000 of our state employees and retirees.
      I vow to help protect all Massachusetts citizens when I am elected and make quality Massachusetts Health Care my highest priority. Every citizen of our state deserves to have good health insurance at an affordable price.
     Let’s save Mass Health, the Mass Health Connector and Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts, and Fallon Health Care for the three million Massachusetts citizens who currently are covered.
     We can’t risk our health just to save the Commonwealth a few million dollars!
Ty Waterman.
Democratic candidate for State Representative, Attleboro, Mass.