Mass. House Releases Plan To Curb Health Costs

The Boston Globe: House Targets Health Spending
Massachusetts House leaders released a major proposal to curb health care costs Friday, calling for new limits on the fees charged by hospitals and doctors and for creation of an independent agency to monitor medical spending. The lawmakers project their plan would save families an average of $2,000 annually on health insurance premiums. The long-awaited bill would require the health care industry to cut the growth in spending in about half by 2016, so that it is below the growth of the overall Massachusetts economy (Kowalczyk, 5/4).

The Wall Street Journal: Same State, New Stab At Health Care
Massachusetts is laying the groundwork for an ambitious new effort to rein in health spending that would be closely watched nationally in a state that's become a health-policy bellwether. Key state legislative leaders unveiled a bill Friday that proposes setting a target for the rate at which overall health spending should rise—a step that would once again put the state in the forefront of efforts to remake the American health-care system (Levitz and Wilde Mathews, 5/4).

WBUR CommonHealth blog: A New Approach To Cutting MA’s Health Costs: Throw Spaghetti
MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber, an architect of the state’s 2006 health law and an advisor to President Barack Obama on the national Affordable Care Act calls the new House proposal "aggressive, broad and visionary." "This is an incredibly hard problem," said Gruber, speaking on WBUR’s Radio Boston today. “What I like about this…is that it's really taking the spaghetti approach to cost control; let's throw a bunch of things against the wall and see what sticks. They’re doing a bunch of different things all of which might work" (Zimmerman and Goldberg, 5/4).

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