Rhode Island residents may be interested in a recent Massachusetts health care debate. As members from the Massachusetts House of Representatives continue to discuss a new health care bill that could save the state more than $160 billion, taxpayers elsewhere are wondering why their representatives are not doing the same.
The bill is designed to spread affordable health care throughout the state, but it has several other provisions included in the structure. One hotly debated provision encourages hospitals and doctors to apologize when medical negligence occurs within the healthcare system. Another would allow patients to enjoy reduced premiums if they are genuinely committed to maintaining good health. These initiatives, said to be heavily based on faith in the system and those performing the services, hopes to reduce medical costs over the next 15 years by as much as $160 billion.
Advocates of the bill believe that it will inspire improvement in patient care as well as decrease medical costs, which will benefit patients enormously. State representatives are proud of this bill because Massachusetts is the first state in the country to attempt to manage rising health care costs in this way. They believe they have finally put the patient first, and that education and honesty will carry the health care industry out of its current financial crisis.
As the debate continues in Massachusetts, other states sit by and keep a watchful eye. Should the bill pass both the House and the Senate in Massachusetts, several more states are almost certain to develop similar bills designed to bring peace, financial comfort and a greater emphasis on patient safety to their local health care systems.
Source: CBS News, "Mass. House begins health care bill debate," Associated Press, June 6, 2012