Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 calculates MassHealth spending at $15.47 billion, or 5 percent more than the current fiscal year, according to an analysis this week by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. After federal reimbursements, the group said, the proposed budget would boost state spending on MassHealth by about $275.7 million.
"Each year we delay action on this, the problem gets bigger and more unwieldy," said Carolyn Ryan, assistant director of policy and research for the business-oriented Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which has studied the impact of retiree benefits on state and local governments.
Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-oriented fiscal policy group, said the increase in premium co-pays to 25 percent is not unreasonable compared to private sector health plans. "Employees are being asked to pay more, but what they're asked to pay is in line with the private sector," McAnneny said.