Definitely something to keep an eye on: Sen. Prez Murray's health care cost legislation is due for a big rollout tomorrow in at UMass Medical School in Worcester. She spoke about her plans back in October; briefly, it seems she'll include:
- Mandatory hearings whenever insurers want more than a 7% premium increase;
- Some regulation of “reserves” — the money that supposedly non-profit insurers sock away for non-medical purposes;
- Regulate hospital expansions (how?)
- Making primary care more widely available in general
- Loan forgiveness for more primary care docs
- Electronic medical records (requires a heavy initial $ outlay — we'll see how far that goes)
- Realign incentives for better care, not more care (how?)
I'd also like to see pharmaceutical/device marketing dealt with in some significant way. We'll see.
In any event, this has huge implications not just for the state's health care law, but for the state's budget, and indeed the fiscal health of every community in the Commonwealth.
By the way, you can check out Murray's October speech to the GBCC; I don't think I'd read it before. Aside from her support for casinos, I really like the way she thinks — how economic development is tied to so many other issues like health care, housing, and energy.