Charlie Baker on Health Care
Modern health issues more challenging than in the past
For years, we have neglected preventive services that keep people healthy and out of our emergency rooms, like primary care, addiction services, geriatrics and behavioral health care. For a variety of reasons, mental health, addiction and behavioral
health issues are far more challenging than they were in the past, and increasingly intertwined with physical illnesses. To put more resources into time, on primary care and behavioral health services, while limiting overall cost increases.
Source: 2020 Massachusetts State of the State address
, Jan 21, 2020
Health Connector: replace mess with hope
We began with a Health Connector that was, by all accounts, a mess. Today it just finished its third consecutive positive open enrollment. Providing more than 240,000 working families with affordable health care coverage.
We began with a state
hospital in Bridgewater that for decades was beset by a series of terrible tragedies--yet nothing was done. Today, Bridgewater State Hospital is a completely different place. And families who never expected anything to get better finally have hope.
Source: 2018 State of the State speech to Massachusetts legislature
, Jan 23, 2018
Opposed Republican bill to eliminate ObamaCare
[Democratic opponent] Jay Gonzalez said the governor of Massachusetts should stand in opposition to the healthcare and budgetary policies of President Donald Trump, and that Baker's actions, which include writing a letter opposing the now-dead bill to
eliminate ObamaCare, either came too late or are insufficient.
Gonzalez, speaking in the days before the House Republican's American Health Care Act of 2017 failed to pass the House of Representatives, said that national Republican efforts to repeal
President Barack Obama's healthcare bill pose a serious threat to Massachusetts. Baker's administration released estimates last month showing that the AHCA would have cost the state $1 billion per year by 2020. "We need to be doing everything we can to
try to stop that from happening," Gonzalez said.
While major federal health care changes are no longer imminent following the defeat of the ACHA, Trump tweeted last week that he is still dedicated replacing Obama's signature health care law.
Source: Springfield Republican on 2018 Massachusetts Governor race
, Apr 3, 2017
Push for a state waiver from ObamaCare
The debate touched on health care issues and the botched website the state launched last year to be in compliance with President Barack Obama's health care law. Baker has said the state should push for a waiver from the law. He said Tuesday that he
feared the state was losing control of its own health care law. "I wanted Massachusetts to continue to be in the driver's seat," he said.
Coakley said the state needed some waivers from the federal government and said the state has the right plan now.
Source: WCVB-TV on 2014 Massachusetts Gubernatorial debate
, Oct 8, 2014
Access to health care is a basic right
Baker declares, "access to health care is a basic right": In a debate with Mark Fisher on June 2nd, "Baker said "access to health care is a basic right." And to ensure that everyone is afforded that right, he said, the state's health care delivery system
needs an overhaul, including making the price of care more transparent. The same person can receive drastically different price quotes for the exact same medical treatment from different hospitals, Baker said. Knowing how much each medical institution
charges for a service would "change the whole health care conversation in Massachusetts," he said." (Boston Globe, 6/2/2014)
Baker said health care is already a basic right under state and federal law. "I think the most
important thing we can do to make sure everybody's 'covered' with respect to that is to have a system like the one we had here in Massachusetts, where 98% of our population was covered. (State House News Service, 6/2/2014)
Source: Mass IEPAC p.183, on 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate
, Jun 2, 2014
Eliminate mandated benefits that are more than people need
To control health care costs, here is where I would start:
Source: 2010 gubernatorial campaign website, charliebaker2010.com
, Nov 1, 2010
- Demand transparency on price and performance. The lack of transparency in health care costs and quality contributes to the high costs of health care.
- Reform Medicaid so that the state
lives up to its promise to pay its fair share of expenses.
- Eliminate costly mandated benefits and permit mandate-lite and mandate-free options. Mandating prescription drug coverage is the latest in a string of public-policy decisions that are making
health care more expensive. Often, these benefits exceed what most members actually need. I support eliminating mandated benefits that are no longer effective.
- Require one open enrollment period and give small businesses group buying rights.
Medical malpractice reform: The high premiums drive certain doctors out of practice and limits patients' access to this specialty care.
- Increase the number of primary care physicians in Massachusetts
Page last updated: Mar 15, 2020