The relative quiet since the state's largest insurer gave away a huge rate increase to the state's dominant health care system -- a 2-3% increase on a base that is, what, 15 to 20% higher than the rest of the market -- is indicative of something here in Massachusetts. After all, if there was ever a time for that insurer to challenge the market power of the provider group, this was it, with other hospitals and physicians waiting in the wings to serve the public at a lower cost and employers looking for lower priced products.
Year's ago, the CEO of this provider group said to a then-balking CEO of this insurance company, "This is what good health care costs." The latter conceded, and the pattern was established. The current team seems to feel the same way, even in the face of evidence from other parts of the region that such costs are not necessary to deliver high quality care.
Or maybe this was a case of going along to get along, slipping a story by a body politic and media that has lost the will or interest to focus on another large, implicit tax increase on the people and businesses of the state.