BOSTON – Hundreds of healthcare workers and their supporters will rally at the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday, May 11, at 3 p.m. in an effort to shape upcoming payment reform legislation and to raise awareness of the vital role healthcare service workers play in the delivery of quality care.
As lawmakers prepare for hearings next week on what is being called “phase two” of Massachusetts healthcare reform, members of the state’s largest healthcare union will be mobilizing in massive numbers to lobby legislators on the bill. Those lobbying efforts will be followed by a huge 3 p.m. rally at the Grand Staircase of the State House.
1199SEIU launched a major public awareness campaign related to payment reform in early April that so far has included TV, radio, and transit advertising, in addition to worksite events, workshops, and forums for union and non-union healthcare workers.
A giant mobile billboard with the “Voices of Quality Care” campaign logo and website will be circling Beacon Hill during the massive 3:00 p.m. rally inside the building.
WHO: 1199SEIU Executive Vice President Veronica Turner, Sen. Dan Wolf (D), Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez (D), Dr. Amy Funkenstein (SEIU-CIR), Health Care for All Executive Director Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, hundreds of members of 1199SEIU and supporting organizations
WHAT: Massive rally of caregivers at State House
WHEN: Wednesday, May 11, 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Grand Staircase of the Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA
WHY: 1199SEIU members say it’s important for the final version of payment reform legislation to include workforce training and other job security measures for workers whose roles in the hospital could change as a result of payment reform.
Another reason caregivers are seeking an upfront investment in training is to ensure incumbent hospital workers are able to train for the medical jobs of the future – and that displaced workers are prepared for new opportunities in patient care coordination and quality improvement roles. Workers are also seeking increased Medicaid reimbursement rates to prevent the “cost-shifting” pattern that occurs when inadequate government reimbursements drive up private insurance prices.
Other issues healthcare workers plan to lobby on during the day Wednesday include funding for the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) program and other various legislative and budget initiatives to improve healthcare jobs and services. Healthcare is currently the state’s largest employment category. Massachusetts payment reform legislation is expected to dramatically change the way hospitals are paid by insurers and the government for the services delivered by healthcare workers, while encouraging quality and efficiency improvements. 1199SEIU is supportive of a payment reform agenda that ensures key protections for workers and patients during implementation of this major transformation of the healthcare system.