I had been wondering whether the new Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo, would continue to make funding the Massachusetts health coverage law a priority...or whether he would shift money to programs that are being cut. Last week I thought I heard the Speaker suggest that the state might not be able to afford the law. On Friday, I asked him to clarify his position. Here's the transcript:
(me) "Speaker DeLeo, do you think the health coverage law is unaffordable or should be scaled back?"
(Speaker DeLeo) "No, I didn't mean to suggest that we should retreat from the health care law at all. On the other hand, I think it will be necessary to do some of the various cost controls that we have already put in place, or others that we'll have to consider. If we're going to keep insuring additional people, or making sure we keep the benefits the same, there are going to have to be finances to take care or that or cost controls to make sure the law is economically viable."
The administration is counting on additional Medicaid money through a federal stimulus bill to help with rising health care costs this year and next. DeLeo did not detail other cost control measures he may propose or support.
This program aired on February 1, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.