KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Current, Former Mass. Governors Agree: Feds Should Do More Than Their States’ Model To Address Costs

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, and former Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, both say that federal health reform plans should do more to address rising costs than their state's initiative. "Unlike the Massachusetts plan, which focused first on getting residents to sign up for insurance and only now is turning to cost containment, federal legislation must include measures to trim medical costs if it wants to garner and keep public support, Patrick said," Bloomberg reports. "The 2006 Massachusetts law, with its combination of public and private insurance programs, has reduced the number of uninsured to 2.6 percent of its population, the lowest rate in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. At the same time, per capita health spending in Massachusetts is projected to double from 2009 through 2020, according to a June report by the state." (Wechsler, 10/28) 

Meanwhile, Romney "is acknowledging that the health care plan he famously implemented as governor did nothing to address costs," CNN reports. "We were unable to deal with - and didn't have any pretense we would somehow be able to change - health care costs in Massachusetts," said Romney. "We still have a fee for service, a re-imbursement system here like every other state in America. That's the way Medicare and Medicaid are structured, that's the way the insurance industry is structured," he continued. Romney added that "'Massachusetts is not the model' for reducing health care costs" (Gupta, 10/28).

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