July 15, 2009 | last updated March 24, 2012 2:58 pm

State Legislators Propose Health Care Price Controls

Legislators, business, and health care groups introduce the "Affordable Health Plan" Tuesday.

State legislators, led by state Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, have proposed a plan to establish the "Affordable Health Plan" to help keep costs down for small businesses and their employees.

Legislators say the proposed bill scheduled to be filed this week could reduce the cost of premiums by as much as 22 percent for small businesses and individuals. "Controlling the cost of health care is critical to keeping health care affordable for them," Moore said in a statement. He said costs must be controlled while "maintaining the gains" made by the state's Health Care Reform Law. Moore is the senate chairman of the joint committee on health care financing.

Moore was joined in announcing the plan Tuesday by several legislators, including state Sen. Michael Moore, D-Millbury, senate chairman of the joint committee on community development and small business.

The plan was supported Tuesday by the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and several other organizations.

The plan would institute a rate cap on reimbursement to all providers of 110 percent of Medicare or Medicaid for all service other than outpatient pharmacy benefits. It also sets a 2 percent cap on profits insurers can take from small businesses and prohibits providers from billing patients in excess of established reimbursement amounts, co-payments, co-insurance or deductibles, among other measures.


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