Massachusetts leaders consider state impact of U.S. Senate health care bill

Nearly 265,000 Massachusetts residents would lose their health coverage

BOSTON (WWLP) – The future of health care in Massachusetts remains uncertain as Washington Republicans inch closer to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Top Massachusetts leaders are concerned the U.S.Senate plan could negatively impact residents’ insurance and state revenues.

“I’m extremely worried about what the consequences for hundreds of thousands of people here in the Commonwealth of Mass. would be,” said Governor Charlie Baker, (D) Massachusetts.

Massachusetts currently has one of the highest rates of residents with health insurance in the nation. But Governor Baker estimates that nearly 265,000 Massachusetts residents would lose their health coverage if the proposal passes.

Lawmakers are also concerned with how the Senate health care bill would impact substance abuse treatment at time when Massachusetts continues to battle a deadly opioid addiction crisis.

“Trumpcare will shift billions of dollars in costs for substance use services onto the states and the families that suffer from this disease,” said U.S. Senator Ed Markey, (D) Massachusetts.

Baker estimates the move could negatively impact state revenues by more than $8 billion by 2025.

“There doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest in focusing on the things that would actually fix the many things that Republicans and Democrats both agree are wrong with the Affordable Care Act,” Baker said.

The U.S. Senate delayed a vote on their health care bill today, but the legislature is expected to take up the issue sometime after the Fourth of July.