CANTON, Mass. — A s voters across the state continue to express that health care is one of their top priorities and concerns as taxpayers, the Massachusetts Nurses Association today applauded the Massachusetts State Senate for its efforts and work in protecting vital public health programs in their Fiscal Year 2004 budget proposal.
"We are keenly aware of the challenges before our elected leaders this fiscal year and applaud the Senate for their efforts to work towards a solution to our budget crisis while working to protect vital public health safety net programs," stated Karen Higgins, President of the Massachusetts Nurses Association.
Arguing that many of the initiatives that have been floated over the past six months were "penny wise and pound foolish" the MNA credited the Senate for their advocacy for measures that invest in the public’s health and access, education, prevention and treatment programs.
Higgins specifically noted the Senate’s efforts to protect "core public health services" such as MassHealth Basic, Prescription Advantage, and school nursing, and its investment in education and prevention programs such as Hepatitis C mitigation, AIDS prevention and treatment services, and treatment and supportive services such as breast cancer screening, rape crisis centers and the sexual assault nurse examiner program.
While acknowledging the efforts to act responsibly to protect core services within the health and human services line items, the MNA believes that all parties to the budget debate must engage in a balanced approach to deal with the crisis, which includes generating the revenues needed to provide the health and human services residents of the Commonwealth deserve.