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State Panel Estimates Ballot Q On Nurse Staffing Ratios Would Cost Mass. Hundreds Of Millions08:00
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Ron Dombrowski is examined by nurse practitioner Pamela Park at the Wiener Center for Preoperative Evaluation at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Ron Dombrowski is examined by nurse practitioner Pamela Park at the Wiener Center for Preoperative Evaluation at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
This article is more than 2 years old.

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC), an independent watchdog group that keeps an eye on health costs, issued a statement Wednesday saying the state ballot initiative on nurse staffing ratios could cost an estimated $676 million to $949 million a year.

Supporters of the ballot measure — Question 1 — protested.

Their statement read, in part: "This guess on costs by the HPC is irresponsible and inconsistent and resembles nothing that the HPC has ever done before. ... There is no independent data source or transparency in these cost estimates."

Question 1's backers are supported by the Massachusetts Nurses Association. According to a recent WBUR poll, however, voters are split on which side to take, and are unclear on what nurses and other medical professionals truly want.

WBUR's Carey Goldberg wrote about the watchdog state panel's findings. You can read that story here.

Guest

Carey Goldberg, host of WBUR's CommonHealth blog, which tweets @commonhealth.

This segment aired on October 3, 2018.

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