5/18 Update: WBUR’s Martha Bebinger has a feature report on the bill’s passage.
Original post: Here’s the full, unedited press release:
Senate Approves First-In-Nation Payment Reform Bill
BOSTON – Crunching through 265 amendments during two full days of public debate, the Senate on Thursday capped a framework of nation-leading health care reforms with landmark cost-control legislation that will save the Commonwealth $150 billion in the next 15 years while improving the quality of care and increasing the transparency and accountability of the state’s entire health care system. The bill passed 35-2.
Health spending is projected to double from 2009 to 2020, outpacing both inflation and growth in the overall economy. Massachusetts residents, businesses, and state and local government continue to struggle with increasing premiums and other health care cost sharing.
“The most important goal of this legislation is to reduce the cost of health care while providing access and quality outcomes,” Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said. “Massachusetts spends 15 percent more per person on health care than the rest of the nation and 40 percent of our state budget is spent on health care. This bill will reel in health care costs, without harming our number one industry or patient care, and remove a major roadblock to long-term job growth and essential investments in education and transportation.”
“The Senate today took bold action to address one of the most serious threats to our economic recovery and strength, and did so in a thoughtful and deliberate manner,” said Sen. Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge), lead sponsor of the bill. “This proposal will result in billions of dollars in savings for consumers and small businesses across the Commonwealth, and it will ensure that patients receive the highest quality of care which they expect and deserve. The Senate recognizes the importance of our innovation economy, and sought to pursue reforms in a collaborative manner with those stakeholders responsible for implementation. This legislation completely alters the landscape of our deliver system, and does so with a desire to seek the greatest value at the most reasonable cost for the residents of the Commonwealth.” Continue reading