State budget cuts include $3M for Baystate Health

Legislators can override the governor's vetoes

Massachusetts State House Photo: Thinkstock

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker approved a state budget, but it includes spending cuts.

Health care spending makes up about 40 percent of the state budget, but with a revenue shortfall, some medical proposals took a hit. Around $15.5 billion for MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, is included in the state budget signed by Governor Baker Monday.

The Governor returned the budget with a reform package that would charge employers fees for offering inadequate health insurance and change eligibility requirements.

One local proposal to give $3 million to Baystate Health was vetoed by the governor. The funding would have been used for a medical school program with UMass to help train more doctors.

Holyoke State Rep. Aaron Vega told 22News he thinks this cut in funding sends the wrong message to Baystate and other health care professionals in western Massachusetts.

“Baystate needs to know that we support them just as much as we support our community hospitals,” Rep. Vega said. “They’ve been in this gray area where they don’t get a lot of the district money that our community hospitals get, but they are struggling as well.”

Although the governor vetoed the funding, legislators can override his vetoes and they plan to take another look at the funding in the coming weeks.