Gov. Baker to sign health care fee, wait on Medicaid changes

BOSTON (AP) — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker plans to sign off on a new $200 million health care assessment on Massachusetts employers.

The governor had earlier balked at approving the fee unless lawmakers also passed a set of cost-saving measures he proposed for MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program.

After weighing, and rejecting, a possible veto, Baker agreed to sign the assessment on Wednesday. He says he’s taking legislative leaders at their word when they say they intend to take action aimed at reigning in escalating Medicaid costs.

The two-tiered fee will increase the existing employer medical assistance contribution, known as EMAC, from $51 to $77 per employee for most businesses. But employers would have to pay a much higher contribution of $750 for workers who are enrolled in MassHealth.

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