Local Official: Budget Will Help Control Community Health Care Costs

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The House budget is out, and reaction is coming in from cities and towns across the state. The $30.4 billion spending plan delivers $65 million in local aid cuts, but it also proposes measures to help communities control their rising health costs at projected savings of $100 million next year.

Joshua Ostroff, a member of the Natick Board of Selectmen and president of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, brought his local perspective to Morning Edition Thursday.

He said the new plan gives cities and towns the ability to offer health insurance plans comparable to what state employees have and better than what most people in the private sector have.

"There are very few pitfalls [in the budget] from the perspective of the local taxpayer or municipal officials who are trying to maintain critical services during this recessionary economy," he said.

He said rising health care costs are a major pain in city budgets.

"The net result is fewer public employees, because of the [health care] cost increases we've been facing," Ostroff said. "This would arrest that."

This program aired on April 14, 2011.

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Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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