Backers of Nurse Staffing Proposal Object to Agency’s Study

Tim Dunn/

BOSTON (AP) — A report from an independent state agency on the potential costs of a November ballot question on nurse staffing levels is generating controversy before its findings are even made public.

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission is scheduled to release its analysis Wednesday, but supporters of Question 1 are suggesting it’s highly unusual for any state agency to weigh in on a proposed law before voters, let alone the agency that would be responsible for developing regulations and overseeing implementation of the law.

The ballot initiative proposes mandated nurse-to-patient ratios in all of the state’s hospitals and in other health care facilities. The hospital industry opposes the measure.

The commission’s chairman, Stuart Altman, says the analysis is justified given the “significant impact” Question 1 could have on health care in Massachusetts.

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