Someone is wrong in Massachusetts

I’m sorry, but both of the following things can’t be true.

  1. About the House version of the Massachusetts health care cost control bill, Rep. Steve Walsh said that the plan would save $160 billion over 15 years.
  2. About the Senate version, Senate leaders said their plan would save at least $150 billion in savings over the next 15 years.

So, they have nearly identical savings estimates. (I don’t know how either was computed.) I think at least one of them must be wrong. The reason? The bills have very different rate growth caps.

  1. The House would cap per capita state health care spending at potential GSP per capita for the next several years and then cap it at PGDP less half a percentage point until 2027. (See section 46 of the bill.)
  2. The Senate bill would, from 2012 to 2015, “cap projected growth of health care spending equal to the gross state product plus half a percent. From 2016 to 2026, the goal is to keep health care cost growth equal to the projected growth in the gross state product.” (That’s from the Boston Globe.)*

These growth caps are so different I don’t see how the two bills could lead to nearly the same savings. It seems like the House bill must save much more — not just $10B more over 15 years — than the Senate one. Someone is wrong in Massachusetts. Perhaps with more information I will come to discover that it is me!

UPDATE: A trusted source wishing to remain anonymous says the Senate bill would save $124B through 2025. I cannot personally verify this figure.

* I have not seen the text of the Senate bill so I cannot say whether it actually specifies the target in terms of per capita potential GSP, which would make it more comparable to the House bill.

@afrakt

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