Political Happy Hour: Sept. 7, 2017

Here’s your afternoon tailgating, banner-waving, Apple Watch-checking souvenir cup of politics, from Jim O’Sullivan (with an assist from Shira T. Center), filling in for Josh, reportedly spotted outside Gillette at an ungodly hour this morning, face painted, ready to go.

Please send all photos — or really, any funny photos of Joshua — via Twitter to @shiracenter and @josreports.

ST. LIZ GOES ALL IN ON SINGLE-PAYER, via Victoria McGrane of the Globe’s D.C. bureau: “Senator Elizabeth Warren is signing on to Bernie Sanders’ ‘Medicare For All’ single-payer health care plan. The Massachusetts Democrat announced her intention to co-sponsor the forthcoming legislation in an e-mail message to supporters Thursday morning.”


Astead W. Herndon, also coming at you from Washington, did a nice walk-through a few months ago on how Warren had come to the single-payer side of the fence:

MR. BAKER MAKES NEWS IN WASHINGTON, via Priyanka Dayal McCluskey of the Globe: “Governor Charlie Baker, appearing before US senators Thursday, said his administration is working to establish a fund to help stabilize Massachusetts health insurance rates in case President Trump ends the federal subsidy payments that many insurers rely on.

The payments, known as cost-sharing reductions, help defray the cost of coverage for lower-income Americans who buy their plans on the individual insurance market. In Massachusetts, they amount to an estimated $132 million next year to subsidize insurance for 155,000 state residents.

It was not immediately clear how the Baker administration’s stabilization fund would work. Administration officials were planning to file paperwork with federal officials requesting the change this week.

The issue came up in Washington as Baker and four other governors testified before the US Senate health committee. Baker urged senators to take quick bipartisan action to stabilize health insurance markets and give states more flexibility in how they provide health coverage.”

STATE SENATE EYEING HEALTH COSTS, via Priyanka Dayal McCluskey of the Globe: “Massachusetts Senate leaders say they are developing an extensive bill aimed at curbing health care costs in the state budget and for consumers, in what could shape up to be the biggest state health care legislation in five years.


Senators expect to finish drafting the bill in coming weeks and file it in October, after several months of research, including meetings with health officials in other states.

In interviews this week, they offered few details about the legislation. But the lawmakers indicated it would cover a broad range of policies aimed at slashing medical spending and providing more coordinated care to patients in need.”

YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE YOUR NEXT COALITION IS COMING FROM, via Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times: “President Trump pursued his newfound alignment with congressional Democrats on Thursday as he called the party’s leaders in hopes of striking more deals and even complied with a request to publicly reassure younger immigrants brought to the country illegally not to worry about imminent deportation.

A day after reaching a fiscal agreement with Democrats over the objections of his own Treasury secretary and party leaders, Mr. Trump called Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California to reinforce his willingness to keep working across party lines. He was effusive about their consensus. ‘The press has been incredible,’ he told Ms. Pelosi, according to a person briefed on the call.”

IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY, JOSEPH WILEY AND ROBERT CAPPUCCI, via Meghan E. Irons in today’s Globe: “The Sept. 26 preliminary election is less than three weeks away, and Mayor Martin J. Walsh has so far not accepted any invitation to debate his main challenger, City Councilor Tito Jackson.


The Walsh campaign said it has received debate invitations from almost every major news organization in Boston. But the mayor will not participate in a debate before the preliminary election unless all four contenders on the ballot are on the podium, the campaign said.”

A ROOSEVELT RESTORATION?, via Andy Metzger of the State House News Service: “Quentin Palfrey, a Weston Democrat who worked in the Obama White House and for former Attorney General Martha Coakley, will run for lieutenant governor, he announced Thursday.

Palfrey, 43, was senior adviser in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and led the health care division of the attorney general’s office. He grew up in Southborough and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

The first-time candidate cast himself as part of the resistance to President Donald Trump.” Link via Lowell Sun:

A great-great grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, Palfrey talked a bit about the lonely LG trail here:

P LEASE PACK YOUR SIGNATURES AND GO HOME, via Jim O’Sullivan at “Steve Tougas saw it coming. The lead advocate of an initiative petition to ‘end all tolling’ in the state had a premonition, based on a nearly 20-year-old court ruling, that his ballot effort would not pass muster with Attorney General Maura Healey.


‘I kind of knew,’ Tougas said. Indeed, on Wednesday, his became one of seven initiative petitions that Healey did not certify for the statewide ballot. Twenty-one measures received certification, and must clear a series of additional hurdles before landing on the ballot.

Healey’s office said the proposal would have resulted in the ‘uncompensated taking of property.’”

LATEST T/KEOLIS SCREW-UP DEEMED ‘EXCEPTIONALLY UNUSUAL’, via Matt Stout of the Herald: “The MBTA and its commuter rail operator are investigating what caused a train car to suddenly break from a Newburyport-bound train last night in what officials are calling an ‘exceptionally unusual’ incident. A spokesman for Keolis, the T’s private commuter rail operator, said no one was on the rear car when it suddenly ‘became parted’ from the rest of the train mid-transit last night.”

One more day before we “become parted” for the weekend. Sign up for Boston’s most beloved afternoon, beverage-themed political newsletter here:

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.