Local News
2:30 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Gov. Patrick On The 'Fumbled' Healthcare Rollout, Marty Walsh, Salaries For Politicians

Gov. Deval Patrick during a previous appearance on Boston Public Radio.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaking with Jim and Margery on Boston Public Radio.
Credit Meredith Nierman / WGBH News

"I can't believe the president cut into my time with you!" 

Fresh off a news conference held by President Barack Obama in which he addressed problems with the  rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick joined Boston Public Radio hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan in Studio 3 for his monthly Ask the Governor segment. 

Patrick fielded emails, Tweets, and calls from listeners and covered a range of topics, including the federal government's fumbled rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

On Obama's decision to allow Americans who've had their health insurance plans canceled keep those plans for another year if they wish...

Okay, if that' s a temporary patch, maybe that's helpful. But the basic question of how we- through a market-based solution, which is what this is- provide adequate insurance still remains. Which means they gotta get the systems right so they can get in.

You don't seem terribly happy about this decision...

Well, you know there's so much about health care which has been kinda soaked in politics for a long time in this country (...) The ACA in particular is in this pathetic kind of dynamic in Washington, where you have the people who believe that folks should not have health care- or I guess that it shouldn't be delivered in a market-based solution like this- most of them hard right Republicans who have been looking to undermine this from the beginning, and are sitting around rooting for the problems with implementation as if they are sorry that it isn't being smoothly implemented.

And then you have on the other side folks in the Obama Administration who are so understandably conscious about that larger dynamic that they aren't surfacing, I think, all of the issues that come with a big complex initiative like this in time enough not just to communicate with the larger public, but to create an atmosphere to fix them.

People whose health care plans run out at the end of the year are concerned that they've only got six weeks to get a new policy. 

I totally get it. I met only yesterday with the leadership of the Connector to get briefed by them to hear what they saw the obstacles. And my instruction to them is overcompensate. Under promise if you have to, rather than say it's definitely going to be this date and everything's great

But, don't be shy about saying I need this additional resource, I need some help, I need a solution that we haven't devised on our own. This is back to the problem I see in the environment in Washington. Which is that they don't have in the Obama Administration the environment to operate where they can make an honest mistake or say "Honestly, I'm not quote sure we have the best solution to this individual glitch," without people saying, "See I told you! I told you!" 

We are so advantaged here in the Commonwealth tat the coalition that invented healthcare was so broad. And that the coalition stuck together to refine it as we've gone along. 

Jim and Margery also spoke with the Governor about his thoughts on Boston mayor-elect Marty Walsh, the state budget, casinos, and his own salary and the salary of other politicians. Click on the full audio below: