On Capitol Hill, Gov. Baker Touts Mass. As Example For Healthcare Reform

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — In his testimony Thursday on Capitol Hill, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker stressed the need for bipartisan solutions in making necessary healthcare reform.

“Massachusetts has achieved near-universal coverage, with the highest rate of individuals with health insurance in the nation,” he said during his testimony. “And that’s because we’ve been working and re-working it for more than ten years.”

baker On Capitol Hill, Gov. Baker Touts Mass. As Example For Healthcare Reform

Gov. Charlie Baker testifies about healthcare before a congressional panel. (WBZ-TV)

Baker was among a bipartisan group of governors testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about their thoughts on the health insurance industry.

He said that bipartisan success was built around the belief that healthcare coverage is a shared commitment–not the sole responsibility of the state.

“People think of us as a high-cost state, but actually, families and individuals in Massachusetts pay less as a percent of their income in health insurance than the naitonal average,” Baker said. “People in Massachusetts have lower out-of-pocket expenses as a percent of their personal income than people do at the national average level.”

warren On Capitol Hill, Gov. Baker Touts Mass. As Example For Healthcare Reform

Sen. Elizabeth Warren questions Gov. Baker during his healthcare testimony. (WBZ-TV)

Among those questioning Baker was Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

“I think Massachusetts is the example of showing that we can stick with strong insurance plans that protect families, and at the same time have market stability–and that ultimately, that works for everyone,” she said after thanking Gov. Baker for his testimony.

Baker said Congress should take action on lowering rising healthcare costs–and said rising pharmaceutical costs was one thing driving the problem.

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