BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker is wading into the debate over health care costs during his final months in office with a new plan seeking to reduce prescription drug prices, expand behavioral health services and require providers and insurers to put more money and resources into primary and geriatric care.
A key provision of the proposal, which Baker detailed Tuesday, would require providers and insurers to increase spending on behavioral health and primary care services by 30% over three years.
The plan, which requires legislative approval, also seeks to improve access to behavioral health services resources to deal with an avalanche of mental health issues stemming from the pandemic.
Amy Rosenthal, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Health Care for All, welcomed Baker’s new proposal and said it “makes important steps to remove barriers to care” that have been highlighted by the pandemic.
Rosenthal said the public health crisis over the past two years “has highlighted the urgent need to make health care premiums more affordable, address behavioral health care and bring down high prescription drug prices.”
“People are struggling. They are making difficult choices to access and afford the treatments they need,” she added. “We can no longer wait to take action.”
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