April 26, 2012 | last updated April 27, 2012 8:59 am

Report: Slower Health Care Cost Growth Would Help Mass.

A study commissioned by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation found that if health care costs in the state grow slower than projected, workers could take home as much as $9,200 extra in pay between 2011 and 2019 while employers would save up to $34.5 billion in premium payments and preserve an additional $4.1 billion to invest in jobs and profits.

Researcher Jonathan Gruber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that if health insurance premiums continue to grow at the projected rate of 6 percent from 2011 to 2019, employer spending on premiums will nearly double, Massachusetts employees will lose $61 billion in compensation, and employers will have to offset an additional $9 billion in costs, either through layoffs or reductions in profits.

The report also said governments would also benefit from the slower growth through higher tax revenues.

Gruber and Perry warned that, unless action is taken, "health insurance coverage will erode, workers' wages will stagnate, and employers will have fewer resources to invest in growing and strengthening the greater Massachusetts economy."

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