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Keller @ Large: GOP Health Care Reform Could Punish Massachusetts

BOSTON (CBS) – They may be voting on Trumpcare down in Washington Thursday, and if you do see the House taking a roll call, it probably means the GOP leadership thinks they have the votes to pass it.

That’s not the end of the story – the Senate is unlikely to rubber-stamp what the House does, not even close.

But let’s take a moment to consider what approval might mean to us here in Massachusetts.

Because the Republican bill would dramatically change the way Medicaid funds are disbursed, Governor Charlie Baker is once again warning that it would result in, as he put it in a statement on Tuesday, a massive loss of critical funds for the Commonwealth.

Back in March, Baker pegged the potential loss to our state of an earlier version of GOP reform at close to $2 billion a year by the end of the decade.

That would blow a big time hole in the state’s overall budget, and almost surely ratchet up the pressure for major tax increases.

Even worse, it could bring local efforts to curb the growth of health care costs that are just now starting to show results after years of work to a screeching halt.

And isn’t that the bottom line of the whole health care reform story – finding a way in an era of inexorably-rising costs to turn that trend around and, ultimately, make decent care affordable to all with minimal government subsidy?

The politicians have sunk so far down in the weeds of ideology and partisanship, it seems they can no longer see the forest – the need all Americans have for health care. I hope I’m wrong.

Stay tuned to find out if I am.

More from Jon Keller
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