News Release

A Year After the ACA, State Legislature Holds the Key to Lower Costs

For Immediate Release

Boston, MA - Statement of Deirdre Cummings, Legislative Director for MASSPIRG on the one-year anniversary of the final passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the new federal health care law, and the impact and potential it holds for Massachusetts consumers and small businesses.

“A year after the passage of the new federal health care law, fierce political debate continues, but here in Massachusetts, provisions of the law are beginning to help consumers and businesses. Small businesses are claiming tax credits to help them cope with the rising cost of coverage, families won’t see their adult children kicked off the family health insurance plan just because they graduate from college or turn 23, and Medicare patients no longer have to pay co pays for certain preventative care tests and visits.

“But more action is still needed to rein in the rising costs of health care. The Massachusetts legislature must require insurers to use ‘quality care pricing’ to improve patient care and bring down costs. Quality care pricing helps lower costs by requiring insurance companies to cover preventative services that keep people healthier and promotes better coordinated care to ensure patients get the treatment they need and cuts down on duplication and medical errors. This will add to the arsenal of strategies we can use to bring down the spiraling cost of health care.

“The recent news of excessive compensation at the state’s largest insurer in the state reminds us that changing the status quo will be hard and we must stand firm against special interests who would rather promote delay instead of change.

“Starting with our own law in 2006, followed by the federal law last year, we’ve made a start towards addressing our health care problems. What happens next depends on whether our state leaders will stand up for Massachusetts consumers against the powerful special interests.”

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