July 26, 2017

Baker seeking federal waivers to address untenable healthcare costs

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State House News Service

Gov. Charlie Baker

BOSTON — As it simultaneously pursues Medicaid reform proposals in the state Legislature, the Baker administration has taken the first steps toward seeking approval of healthcare policy changes from the Trump administration.

Gov. Charlie Baker has spent much of this year emphasizing his hope that the federal government, under Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, will stick to the terms of a so-called healthcare waiver his administration wrapped up with the Obama administration just before Trump’s election.

Now Baker, through the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Health Connector Authority, is asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for additional “relief” from some provisions of Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The Baker administration’s new “flexibility” requests would align MassHealth coverage for non-disabled adults with commercial plans, adopt tools intended to obtain lower prescription drug prices, and implement narrower networks in an attempt to influence enrollment decisions and control cost, among other things.

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