Ginny Buckingham writes in today’s Herald about the fight — now before the MA Supreme Judicial Court — on who gets to appoint the members of the State’s Public Health Council. Old version — the Governor appoints all nine. New version approved in last April’s health reform law — all 18 are named by outside organizations such as the MA Medical Society, the MA Public Health Association, the MA Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors, and — yes — Health Care For All. For the record, no one asked us if we wanted this responsibility, though we’re happy to comply.
The legal issue is whether this new arrangement violates the state Constitution’s strict “separation of powers” between legislative and executive authority. Gov. Romney brought the suit, and Buckingham appropriately wonders what Gov.-elect Patrick thinks about the matter.
It’s a legit question and we eagerly await the SJC’s response. Worth remembering that it was the politicization of the Public Health Council by successive governors that led legislators — led by Sen. Dick Moore — to engineer this change.