Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is asking his fellow Republicans in the U.S. Senate to slow down the passage of their health care bill so states can better understand its provisions. Baker also warned that the GOP plan could spell catastrophe for the Bay State.
Through the National Governors Association (NGA), Baker has teamed up with Democratic and Republican governors to write a letter to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell urging him to give states time to review the legislation and its impact.
"I'm extremely worried what some of the consequences for hundreds of thousands of people here in the Commonwealth of Mass would be if something like the Senate bill were to pass. We're talking about an $8 billion cumulative hit to the Commonwealth over the course of less than 10 years," Baker told reporters Monday after meeting with Senate President Stan Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
In a separate letter to Massachusetts's congressional delegation, Baker concluded that by 2025, the U.S. Senate's health care plan "will result in the loss of existing coverage for 264,000 residents and provide a cumulative fiscal impact of $8.2 billion," according to his office.
The letter goes on to point out that the "hundreds of millions of dollars" the state could lose would rent the state's safety net, especially Medicaid and Medicare.
According to his office, Baker has been working with the state's congressional delegation as well as other senators and governors on ways to blunt what he says are potentially devastating affects the GOP plan could have for Massachusetts.
Baker serves as the NGA's Health and Human Services vice-chair.
The Senate could vote on the bill this week.