AG Coakley Weighs In On Health Cost Bill

Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley

WBUR’s Martha Bebinger spoke briefly with State Attorney General Martha Coakley today about the imminent passage of a new law intended to control rising health care costs and revamp the way medical care is paid for and delivered. The plan, expected to be signed by the governor soon, doesn’t go as far as some advocates had hoped in limiting the power of dominant hospital systems in the region, a distortion in the marketplace that Coakley has been targeting for several years. Here’s Martha’s edited interview:

Attorney General Martha Coakley says she’s confident that a new health care costs bill will help the state take on hospitals whose prices are based on market clout. The bill does not give the AG any new authority, but Coakley says it sets better standards for investigation. The AG says she will keep trying to fix health care pricing, but expects consumers and hospitals to do their part.

“The message is also that the industry and where they go is really important in terms of keeping costs down, keeping everyone insured, keeping high quality health care.”

The AG has issued two reports that say the power of Boston’s largest hospitals to demand high prices drives up health care costs for everyone.

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