Patrick Renews Push For Lower Health Care Costs

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It seems Gov. Deval Patrick's patience is being tested when it comes to legislative action on health care costs.

The governor is urging swifter action by lawmakers on a cost containment bill designed to reward doctors and hospitals for improving patient care while limiting expensive but often unnecessary tests.

House leaders have indicated that the bill might not be acted on until late this year or next year. But Patrick says action has to come sooner than that.

"It's gotta come sooner than that," the governor said. "And the speaker and the leader, who have been wonderful partners and have heard this view from me, they don't have to answer to me, they have to answer to all the premium payers."

He also told reporters that he had been hoping to see a separate bill aimed at controlling employee health care costs for municipalities on his desk by now.

The governor and administration officials hosted an informational briefing Tuesday for insurers, health care providers and others on cost containment efforts.

With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom.

This program aired on April 5, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.