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Mass. Grasps For A Cure To Rising Health Care Costs20:29
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The health care reform effort passed into law in Massachusetts in 2006 helped expand coverage in the state, yet costs continue to rise. Above, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney signs health care reform into law. (AP)
The health care reform effort passed into law in Massachusetts in 2006 helped expand coverage in the state, yet costs continue to rise. Above, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney signs health care reform into law. (AP)

Health care costs are rising too fast. On that, there is iron-clad consensus. Where there is no agreement is how much wouldn't be too fast. In other words, what's a rate of medical inflation that we can all live with?

A debate about that question has been taking place behind the scenes in Massachusetts for some time. But it's been thrust out in public now as some high profile groups stake out very different positions.

The state's largest employer group, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, wants to get medical inflation way lower, while the state's largest hospital association, the Massachusetts Hospital Association, is not eager to see the prices for their services curtailed.

The Associated Industries of Massachusetts says policy-makers should be trying to get inflation to 2 percent below annual growth in our gross state product. The Massachusetts Hospital Association, meanwhile, says no way is that possible without dangerously curtailing care. These big numbers do ultimately translate into how much your premiums go up.

We'll talk to representatives from both sides of the debate to find out more.

Guests:

  • Martha Bebinger, WBUR reporter.
  • Rick Lord, president and CEO, Associated Industries of Massachusetts.
  • Lynn Nicholas, president and CEO, Massachusetts Hospital Association.

This segment aired on March 15, 2012.

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