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Mass. Senate President Proposes Health Insurance Compromise

The president of the Massachusetts Senate is proposing a compromise to the ongoing dispute between the state and health insurers about setting premiums.

Senate President Therese Murray is offering to let insurance companies set rates without worrying that they may be rejected by regulators. But there's a catch: the insurers must promise that no more than 10 percent of their premiums will go to administration and marketing.

Murray is also proposing lower-cost health plan options for small businesses. She wants all insurance companies to offer one small business plan with a limited provider network and with costs that are at least 10 percent lower than their other small business plans.

She also recommends that, over the next five years, the state do away with its current health care payment system, which pays doctors for every test and procedure they do. Critics say that drives up costs by encouraging unnecessary services.

Related:

This program aired on April 14, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Sacha Pfeiffer Twitter Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.

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