The following letter was written by Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., and published in the July 13, 2018 issue of a Boston newspaper. The unnecessary medical service is elective, non-therapeutic male infant circumcision.
Rep. Malia’s Unresponsiveness
As a public health advocate and concerned citizen, I am concerned about a MassHealth (Medicaid) administrative policy that approves payments for unnecessary medical services. This violates state and federal regulation requirements that all paid services shall be medically necessary. These violations waste millions of dollars of taxpayer money. The MassHealth response to my concern avoided the issue and defended such payments with no reason related to the violation of regulations.
I asked State Representative Liz Malia by preliminary email if she would respond to a concern with her opinion on the merits of an issue. She said she would “respond thoughtfully and promptly.” I then sent her a detailed statement which included a description of my communications with MassHealth and another request for Malia’s opinion. I received no response for over three weeks.
I visited her office and was told by a staff person that I would receive a letter. The “letter” was simply a copy of the previously mentioned MassHealth response with a brief note from Malia suggesting that I contact the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s office told me it does not deal with this type of violation.
I sent Malia a message reminding her of my initial request for her opinion, that MassHealth avoided the focus of my inquiry on medical necessity, and another request for her opinion. I received no response. I sent another email message asking about a response. Again, she did not respond. Four telephone messages to her office received no response.
As we know, actions speak louder than words. It is clear that Malia repeatedly chose to avoid responding to my request for her opinion. This is unacceptable. Constituents deserve better. As Turnbull said, “Transparency is needed for the health of a good democracy.”