The Senate leadership had again approved a measure allowing them to prescribe medication for glaucoma and eye infections, tasks normally handled by ophthalmologists. This time, the Senate included it in budget negotiations. But it was missing from the final package last week -- despite another lobbying push from the optometrists and a radio ad campaign.
Jay Gardiner, executive director of the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, doesn’t sound depressed about this loss. The optometrists, after all, have just aligned themselves with the state’s biggest business groups that want broader health care reforms. Gardiner’s issue is just a tiny piece, but it’s still part of the pie.
Gardiner says he’s hopeful because Governor Charlie Baker included the change in a long slate of business-backed MassHealth modifications sent to the Legislature last month; Gardiner argues that it can save the state health program $20 million a year by curtailing trips to more expensive providers.
Lawmakers didn’t include Baker’s wide-ranging reforms in their budget plan. Now those groups -- folks such as the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and Associated Industries of Massachusetts -- are lobbying fiercely to get the reforms taken up and passed by the month’s end. All eyes are on Baker, and how he wields his veto pen.
The state’s ophthalmologists have fought against this effort over the years, even though Massachusetts remains an outlier on this issue. It’s been a tough slog for the optometrists here. But now they have some powerful allies on their side.
Jon Chesto is a Globe reporter. Reach him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.
Executive SummaryChildren's researcher held: An Iranian cancer researcher is being detained at Logan Airport.
Dr. Mohsen Dehnavi holds a visiting work visa. He was traveling to Boston to work at Children's Hospital. The hospital said he, along with his wife and three children, could be returned to Iran on the next flight.
Dehnavi's detention comes two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled the travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries could be partially enforced. However, customs officials deny the researcher is being held as a result of the Trump order.
Galvin casts a shadow: Millennium Partners' proposed 775-foot Winthrop Square tower hit a snag: Secretary of State Bill Galvin.
Galvin wants lawmakers to hold off taking a vote to change laws restricting shadows falling on Boston Common and the Public Garden, saying it could cause great damage to historic buildings. He wants more impact studies done on how the building would affect light on the public spaces.
Galvin oversees the state Historical Commission, and he can halt the development. This would also be a problem for Boston, which has earmarked $153 million it anticipates from getting from the deal.
It's not easy finding green: A share of Millennium's $153 million payment goes toward park upkeep.
Think developers aren't doing enough? The city says, think again. The Globe's Tim Logan explains.
Nurses talks down to the wire: Contract talks between Tufts Medical Center and the Massachusetts Nurses Association are down to the final hours.
Without a deal, 1,200 Tufts nurses could walk out at 7 a.m. on Wednesday for one day. If they do, Tufts has promised to use replacement workers for an additional four days.
Stocks recover from Trump jolt: After a quick slide, the market rebounded from the latest reports on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The S&P 500 Index fell 0.5 percent shortly after the release of an e-mail in which Donald Trump Jr. was told Russia wanted to help his father's campaign. While investors were kind, US Representative Seth Moulton was less forgiving. (Bloomberg)
Borrowing trouble: A Chinese umbrella-sharing startup would seem to have discovered the sharing economy’s limits. In just three months, Sharing E Umbrella lost its entire stock when people predictably kept all 300,000 umbrellas.
Surprisingly, this hasn't dampened interest in the business. The company plans to distribute 30 million umbrellas across China by year-end, and reportedly faces three competitors to boot. (The Guardian)
The Boston Globe Talking Points - July 11th