Deval Patrick to enter Democratic presidential race: 4 notes on his past healthcare plays

Former two-term governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick told "friends and allies" Nov. 13 that he has decided to enter the race for president of the U.S., CNN reports.

He is expected to formally announce the decision Nov. 14, according to the report. The decision comes after observing a lack of "political momentum" among Democratic candidates and from the desire to unite liberals and moderates, according to The New York Times, which first reported Mr. Patrick was reconsidering a run. He previously planned to run in this election but withdrew due to "the cruelty of the election process" on friends and family. His wife was diagnosed with uterine cancer last fall, according to CNN. 

Mr. Patrick is currently a managing director at Bain Capital and a CBS contributor. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2006 and served through 2014.

Here are four notes on his plays in healthcare:

1. Mr. Patrick implemented the 2006 Massachusetts healthcare reform law passed by former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney. The law helped Massachusetts achieve near-universal health insurance coverage for residents by 2008, lowering its uninsured rate to 3.9 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The state has been able to maintain and improve this over time. In 2018, the state had an uninsured rate of 2.8 percent — the lowest in the nation, according to recent U.S. Census Bureau data.

2. In 2012, Mr. Patrick signed a bill into law that capped annual growth in healthcare costs to the state's gross domestic product, MassLive reported. The law created a health policy commission to set a benchmark for expenditures and monitor progress. It also imposed temporary surcharges on providers and insurers to fund reform, according to the report. Find more information on the cost growth benchmark here.

3. Mr. Patrick's recent comments suggest he supports a public option. He told CNN's Jake Tapper he thinks "Medicare for All" is "a terrific idea as a sort of shorthand on the basic question of how we get universal care to everybody, and there's more than one way to skin that cat." He added: "I think having Medicare for All alongside various of the private options that are available under the ACA is a terrific idea. That kind of competition, that kind of innovation is enormously important."

4. Other notable healthcare moves during Mr. Patrick's tenure as governor include signing a bill into law in 2014 that expanded mandatory coverage of inpatient drug addiction treatment and signing another bill in 2014 to limit protests in the immediate surroundings of abortion clinics.

 

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