News Release

Consumer Group Praises House’s Introduction of Strong Health Care Reform Bill

Legislation Contains Key Cost-Saving Provisions
For Immediate Release

MASSPIRG welcomed the release today of the U.S. House’s final draft of its health care reform bill.

“With Massachusetts health care premiums set to double over the next eight years, the priority for reform has to be getting these skyrocketing costs under control,” said Deirdre Cummings, Legislative Director for MASSPIRG.  “Fortunately, this bill stakes out a strong position on the key policies we need to make coverage more affordable.”

A recent MASSPIRG report identified increased support for comparative effectiveness research (CER) – medical research into which treatments work best for different kinds of patients – as one of the touchstones for increasing quality and lowering costs.  The draft legislation provides ongoing funding for this research, and ensures that findings will be disseminated to doctors.

“Doctors need the best, most up to date information about how to treat their patients,” said Cummings.  “This legislation will make sure there’s research there to meet that need.  What’s more, the bill will insulate CER from special-interest lobbying that might try to squash research that threatens a drug or device maker’s profits.”

Another primary element of cost-saving reform is creating the option of a public health insurance plan.  Studies have estimated that the plan could lead to $800 billion or more in health care savings.

“We’re very happy to see a robust public plan included in this bill,” added Cummings. “The innovative payment and delivery reforms that the plan is authorized to use will help it provide a high-quality, low-cost option for Americans.”

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