The cost of health care is on the rise. The Centers for Health Information and Analysis’ (CHIA) annualreport shows the state spent a whopping $54 billion on health care in 2014. Governor Charlie Baker blames the rocky rollout of the Health Connector website. One of the governor’s fellow Republicans in the House agrees and doesn’t think it will be repeated.
“I think it’s a one time problem with the Health Connector, everyone being put on, redetermination isn’t being done at MassHealth,” said State Representative Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth).
The Health Connector website wasn’t able to determine whether people qualified for subsidized health insurance last year. As a result, the state spent more money to make sure people were covered, if only temporarily.
That wasn’t the only problem. The spending report found that the cost of prescription drugs is skyrocketing. Senate President Stan Rosenberg, an Amherst Democrat, wants to save money by allowing the state to bulk purchase drugs. He said, “We should be able to take advantage of our buying power by aggregating demand and negotiating with pharmaceutical companies, bringing down costs.”
Massachusetts recently started to bulk purchase the anti-opioid drug Narcan.
Governor Baker expects that health care spending in 2015 won’t be as high as last year.