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MA health cost bill may not attack key problem

The Boston Globe, July 17, 2012

Now, the impact of two major proposals in the House plan that are ­intended to level the playing field —a one-time luxury tax on high-priced providers and restrictions on contract negotiations—is in doubt after lobbying by hospitals. The Senate proposal, meanwhile, takes a more indirect approach to the problem, including establishing ­another commission to dig deeper for the reasons for price differences and requirements to publicly track price inequities. But Governor Deval Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray have made clear that they oppose the House plan to tax providers whose prices are at least 120 percent of the statewide median and redistribute the money to struggling hospitals, making approval in its current form ­unlikely.