Gov. Baker relieved at failure of GOP health care bill

BOSTON (AP) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is expressing relief at the failure of the U.S. House to pass a GOP bill aimed at undoing former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The Republican governor said Friday the bill doesn’t reflect the needs of states and would have drastically affected the Commonwealth’s ability to ensure essential care for thousands of people.

Baker said he remains focused on working with federal officials and other governors to protect Medicaid funding and maintain the flexibility the state needs to address health care issues.

Baker has said the bill would have cost Massachusetts at least $1.5 billion in annual federal payments within five years.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy called the bill’s failure “a fierce reminder of the remarkable power we have to hold our government accountable.”

Gov. Baker issued the following statement on the decisions to withdraw the bill:

“Massachusetts leads the nation in access to quality health care and I am pleased today’s vote has been held as this bill would drastically affect the Commonwealth’s ability to ensure essential care for thousands of people.  This version does not reflect the needs of states and does not contain many critical aspects of health care reform that our administration has communicated to the federal government.  Our administration remains focused on working with our federal partners and other governors to protect critical Medicaid funding and secure the flexibility we need to address health care issues at the state level, and we urge our congressional delegation to continue advocating for the Commonwealth in Washington as this process continues.”

(Copyright (c) 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)