The state Senate approved at the stroke of midnight Thursday, Nov. 9, a wide-ranging bill that seeks to control the rising costs of medical care and prescription drugs, including a controversial plan that would fine hospitals if spending rises too fast.
Sen. Cindy Friedman joined the majority in the 33-6 vote. The Arlington Democrat said she is pleased that the bill’s final version included several of her amendments related to improving access to treatment for mental health and substance-use disorders.
“This robust legislation takes necessary steps to contain health-care costs for everyone while continuing to deliver quality care and access to services,” she said in a Nov. 10 news release. “Going forward, we have to continue to work together to level the playing field and look for ways to ensure that someone with an acute behavioral health condition has the same access to health-care coverage as an individual with medical and surgical needs.”