Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed the state's landmark health-care cost control bill into law Monday, reports the Boston Globe.
As Governing's Louis Jacobson reported last month, the legislation is viewed as the second phase of Massachusetts' health-care reform, which began with the law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 that's widely viewed as the model for President Barack Obama's federal health-care reform law.
The new law establishes spending targets that health-care providers must meet. Those that don't will face a penalty. The law permits health-care spending to grow no faster than the state's economy through 2017 and then pushes the cap to a half-percent below the rate of the state economy's growth, according to the paper.
Other reforms include a move toward global payments (paying doctors a fixed sum per patient) and away from fee-for-service, which many experts criticize for rewarding quantity over quality.
Patrick told the Globe that he credited his predecessor-turned-presidential candidate with laying the groundwork for the 2012 law.
“Health care reform has done a lot of good for a lot of people in the Commonwealth, and if that’s why you serve in government then you should take credit,” he said. “If it were polling better, I bet he would take more credit.”