Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said on Tuesday that she plans to introduce legislation that aims to prevent higher health care costs to consumers.
House Majority Leader Ron Mariano will sponsor the bill, which Healey said strengthens the Attorney General's Office and the Health and Policy Commission to protect consumers from changes in the health care marketplace.
The bill, called An Act Relative to Protecting Health Care Consumers, improves the Health Care Policy Commission's Cost and Market Impact Review, and designates the report as evidence that a proposed acquisition or merger violates the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.
“One of the greatest challenges our state faces is rising health care costs,” Healey said. “As the marketplace continues to steadily evolve, this legislation allows us to better protect our residents from rising costs and limited choice. I look forward to working with the legislature and many stakeholders to move this bill forward.”
Current law states the attorney general can use the Health Policy Commission report as evidence. Under the change, the report would be referred to Healey's office if the commission believes a provider will gain a “dominant market share,” and raise prices on services and increase medical spending.
“This legislation continues to advance the mission that the legislature has been on for years: to control the growth of health care spending by families, businesses and the state,” Mariano said. “This change will ensure that the attorney general has all the tools needed to use the objective market analysis provided by the Health Policy Commission to advance that mission and protect consumers,”