BOSTON – State Sen. John Keenan touted his proposed health care affordability bill on Monday during a briefing by advocacy group Health Care for All. The group released the results of a survey showing more than half of the Bay Staters who responded – more than 1,000 – have had trouble paying for health care.
Keenan’s bill, dubbed the More Affordable Care Act, would eliminate co-pays for service and treatments for certain chronic conditions that disproportionately affect people of color. It would also lower premiums for adults and small businesses by creating a reinsurance program to share the cost risk of very sick patients. The bill also aims to slow the rate of rising health care costs through state benchmarks and stronger rate reviews for insurers.
“Too many Massachusetts residents are experiencing health care burdens,” Keenan, a Quincy Democrat, said during the briefing. “The main barrier to people being insured is cost.”
Keenan said small businesses are holding off on hiring people because of the cost of insurance. Keenan’s co-sponsor on the bill is state Rep. Christine Barber, a Somerville Democrat.
Peter Forman, president and CEO of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement that the reinsurance pooling of high-cost patients is an “innovative, fresh” move.
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