Gov. Baker calls for major changes to state’s healthcare industry

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – On Friday, Governor Charlie Baker and state healthcare officials introduced new legislation that aims to improve medical services for patients and providers.

Governor Baker’s health care legislation focuses on five key areas in the healthcare industry including behavioral health and primary care, managing health care costs, improving insurance coverage, insurance reform, and funding community hospitals.

“We can no longer afford to ignore this, the nature of illness has changed, chronic illnesses are far more prevalent than they used to be, and people are living longer,” the governor said.

The governor’s proposal calls for $15 million to be deposited into the Health Safety Net Trust Fund to support uninsured and underinsured patients.

A primary focus of the bill is reinvesting in things like mental and behavioral health services, something that healthcare workers say should have been done a long time ago.

“The family waited five hours for a psychiatric emergency services worker to appear, after which the worker spent five minutes observing the girl and seeing no threat to herself and others at that time, recommended that the family see the girl’s therapist when they could get an appointment,” Danna Mauch said.

The bill also aims to lower the cost of prescriptions drugs by going after manufacturers who intentionally raise the prices on life saving drugs.

If approved by the legislature, the roll out of this program would take about three years.

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