Deval Patrick on Health Care

Democratic Governor (MA) and presidential contender


Crying need for research of Alzheimers & disabling diseases

Q: What will you do to address this public health crisis of Alzheimer's disease?

PATRICK: We have a crying need for deep investment in research around Alzheimer's and other chronic and disabling diseases. We used to do this in a robust way through National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and others. We need to get back into that business. It was the withdrawal, in part, of that kind of research that has a link to why we pay higher drug prices today, right? We used to invest in basic research through government, much further along the development chain, if you will. So that when it comes time to commercialize, the private investment is smaller and therefore the need to harvest a return is not as great. This is beside your question. But let me say, I'm committed to science. Isn't it a ridiculous thing to have to say?And we have to invest in basic research at the government level, because that is one of those long-term investments that serves our long-term interests.

Source: CNN N. H. Town Hall on eve of N. H. primary , Feb 6, 2020

Would support public option; open to other points of view

We've delivered, in Massachusetts, healthcare to over 98% of our residents. I don't think there's another state that has gotten that far. The whole business of trying to get system costs down is a national challenge. Having a public option, which is my preferred approach, maybe Medicare is that public option, that's a way. If you want to make a reform that lasts, then you have to make room for other points of view to accomplish that ambitious goal.
Source: NBC Meet the Press on 2019 Democratic primary , Nov 3, 2019

ObamaCare is interconnected with debt and other problems

Q: Sen. Charles Schumer (D, NY) said this about Obama's first term: "Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem: healthcare reform. But it wasn't the change we were hired to make. Americans were crying out for the end to the recession. For better wages and more jobs. Not changes in healthcare." You agree with that?

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK: Well, I respect Senator Schumer, but no, I don't agree with him. I mean, I think Americans understand the interconnectedness of a whole host of solutions that government should pay attention to. Not that they think government should solve every problem in their lives. But that government should help them help themselves. And you ask somebody who is not insured and is sick, or someone who is getting buried by healthcare-related debt, whether healthcare reform makes a difference. And they will tell you that it does make a difference.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 30, 2014

Replace fee-for-service model with quality-of-care model

We can do more to control health care costs. Nearly a year ago, after lots of study and broad consultation, I asked you to act on a plan to control the rising costs of health care. Hospitals and insurance carriers have reopened their contracts and cut rate increases, in some cases by more than half. The market is moving in the right direction and that's very good news. But it is not enough.

We need to put an end to the "fee-for-service" model. We need to stop paying for the amount of care, and start paying instead for the quality of care. We need to empower doctors to coordinate patient care and to focus on wellness rather than sickness. And we need medical malpractice reform.

I believe that with these tools and the right oversight, we can slow the growth in health care costs significantly. Just as we have to make the progress to this point, I am confident we can do this the right way.

Source: MA 2012 State of the State Address , Jan 23, 2012

98% of all Massachusetts citizens now have health insurance

Thanks to successful implementation of health care reform, nearly 98 percent of all Massachusetts citizens now have health insurance that they can depend on, the highest proportion in the Nation.
Source: 2009 State of the State speech to Massachusetts Legislature , Jan 1, 2009

Pursue cost-savings ideas within new health reform mandate

Q: The average worker pays 26% of the cost of family health insurance, while Massachusetts state employees pay about 15%. Is it fair to ask taxpayers to subsidize state workers?

PATRICK: I think we need to be managing down the cost of healthcare for everybody. We have an opportunity--and indeed a mandate--with that new health reform bill. Some of the ideas that I want to pursue are:

These are some of the strategies, and I’m open to others. We need to be concentrating on how we get the costs down for everybody and afford the healthcare that we want to provide both the public and private employees.
Source: MA gubernatorial debate on CBS4 news, moderator: Jon Keller , Sep 13, 2006

Supports employer uninsured healthcare assessment, plus more

Patrick was an early supporter of a bill proposed by Affordable Healthcare Today (ACT) that served as the basis for the recently approved universal healthcare law. The ACT bill would have spent more public money, taxed businesses more, and extended subsidized coverage further up the income ladder then the bill eventually approved by the Legislature. He supports the controversial $295 per worker, per year charge on larger employers who don’t offer health benefits, but says there is no need to raise additional revenue “until we see how this works and what costs we can take out.”

“I see health care as a common good -- like clean air, safe streets, and effective education -- and so I believe that government has a role to play in assuring that the conditions exist for the health care system we all want,” Patrick says.

Source: Boston Globe Issue Outlines: on 2006 MA Governor race , Jun 3, 2006

Supports Health Access and Affordability Act

As governor I will work with the legislature to enact the Health Access and Affordability Act, a credible, achievable means to bring immediate progress. Through a combination of changes in the eligibility requirements of MassHealth (Medicaid) and reasonable assessments from employers who do not provide health insurance, the plan substantially expands access to affordable health care to Massachusetts residents. 
Source: Moving Massachusetts Forward, Patrick’s policy booklet, p.11 , Sep 15, 2005

Finance catastrophic health coverage

No one should have to choose between health care and bankruptcy. To relieve the anxiety for individuals and the burden on small businesses, the State will guarantee catastrophic coverage for everyone who is not already covered by Medicare or Medicaid. By spreading these typically high costs over the largest possible pool of participants, and consolidating the many separate reserves now maintained for this care, per-person premiums will be reduced significantly for both employers and employees.
Source: Moving Massachusetts Forward, Patrick’s policy booklet, p.11 , Sep 15, 2005

Negotiate bulk drug purchases under governor’s authority

Using existing but ignored authority, I will reduce the cost of prescription drugs through negotiated bulk purchases and the development of new channels of supply. It is the duty of the Commonwealth to act in the financial interests of the people.
Source: Moving Massachusetts Forward, Patrick’s policy booklet, p.12 , Sep 15, 2005

Invest in prevention

When diagnosed early, many illnesses can be managed at far lower cost than if left until they breed more serious health problems. To keep our citizens healthy, I will invest in a robust public health delivery system. I will place a special emphasis on adequate childhood immunizations, effective drug & alcohol abuse education, HIV/AIDS prevention & care, and early cancer detection programs. Common sense prevention programs like these reduce system-wide costs, which saves money for insurance ratepayers.
Source: Moving Massachusetts Forward, Patrick’s policy booklet, p.12 , Sep 15, 2005

Focus on prevention and wellness programs

I envision Massachusetts as a model for public health stewardship, a state that gets healthy and stays healthy-emphasizing disease prevention and wellness programs that help reduce the total cost of illness, injury and disability. We will have effective programs to assure childhood immunizations, and to address drug and alcohol addiction, mental health needs, gun safety and other violence prevention, and HIV/AIDS screening, treatment and prevention.
Source: Campaign policy booklet, “Moving Massachusetts Forward” , Sep 15, 2005

Adopt national health reform legislation before the end of the year.

Patrick signed a letter from 22 Governors to Congressional leaders:

In a letter to congressional leadership, 22 governors are urging federal lawmakers to adopt national health reform legislation before the end of the year to provide families and businesses with much-needed security and stability.

"We commend you and your colleagues for provisions included in your bills that will help states," the governors wrote. "Many of the provisions will allow states to achieve long term savings and help cover those who currently go without health coverage. We recognize that health reform is a shared responsibility and everyone, including state governments, needs to partner to reform our broken health care system."

"Efforts at the federal level, like the recent and critical investments that support states' HIV and prevention initiatives, are beginning the work to lower health care costs. Our citizens and our states, however, will only achieve the health care security and stability they need if we succeed in working together to achieve health care reform."

Source: Letter from CO Gov. Bill Ritter and 21 other Governors 10-GOV1 on Oct 1, 2009

3.2% funding increase for National Institutes of Health.

Patrick signed Letter from 24 Governors to leaders in Congress

NIH, as well as the indirect job benefits of laboratories needing space, supplies, services, and equipment. We are also deeply aware that NIH-funded discoveries are the basis of new companies and even new industries in our communities.

NIH research is an instrumental part of the success of the US life sciences industry and its 6 million high-wage US jobs. Moreover, follow-on life science research advances are now stimulating new jobs and new solutions in green energy, agriculture, the environment and industrial manufacturing. NIH funding enables the scientific talent and discoveries that are at the heart of this vast array of economic activity.

As you develop the Congressional Budget Resolution, we urge you to enable the 3.2% funding increase for NIH contained in the President's budget request. We thank you for your past support for biomedical research and ask you to craft a budget resolution that accommodates the President's $32.2 billion FY 2011 NIH budget request.

The greatest contribution NIH makes is to the health and well-being of Americans. Past federal investments in medical research, combined with those from the private sector, have led to improved health, better quality of life, and improved productivity of millions of patients and their families.

But NIH is also an important national, regional, and local economic engine. Together, our states received more than $19 billion from the NIH last year for promising research efforts. NIH funding directly supports 350,000 jobs across the US. In our states, we see firsthand the world class research institutions and scientific teams enabled by

Source: Letter from 24 Governors to leaders in Congress 100413-Gov on Apr 13, 2010

Other candidates on Health Care: Deval Patrick on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld (L-NY,R-MA)
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External Links about Deval Patrick:

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

Page last updated: Feb 24, 2020