Massachusetts Lawmakers Seek To Expand Insurance Services

"Massachusetts legislators this year have filed a flurry of bills - more than 70 in all - that, if passed, would substantially expand the medical services insurers are required to cover for patients but also potentially raise healthcare costs," The Boston Globe reports. "The cascade of proposals to mandate coverage is up 50 percent from last year, and comes amid unprecedented scrutiny of healthcare spending. Among the bills are proposals to mandate coverage of hearing aids for children, treatments to fix cleft palates, wigs for patient who suffer 'hair loss from cancer and other illnesses,' and aquatherapy." Some say this level of activity may be caused by patient advocates "racing to get their health concerns covered by law before the state’s system for paying doctors and hospitals is overhauled." But given the state's current budget difficulties, "it's uncertain how many of the bills will make it into law" (Lazar, 7/27).

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