Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce he is confident the state can implement a cost containment plan that will not harm the state’s $34 billion healthcare industry. Eyes are on the bay state as state lawmakers debate how to rein in rising healthcare costs. The national healthcare law is modeled in part after the Massachusetts program, so any problems quickly become national news. The two houses of the Massachusetts legislature have presented different plans for how to limit healthcare costs, but the message is the same. The state can’t keep up with the pace with which healthcare costs are growing, 6-8% per year. Rather than increase insurance premiums, Patrick and his administration want the put a speed limit on healthcare spending. Patrick did not specifically support either of the cost-containment bills proposed by the state houses, but said he will not support any measure that allows health spending to exceed the gross state product (GSP). Patrick also opposes the creation of a new regulatory entity to control costs, a proposal that is in both bills. Instead, Patrick points to a bill he submitted to the state house last year that would give more cost-containing power to the state’s commissioner of insurance. Opinions on the Governor’s plan are mixed. The Massachusetts Medical Society says the GSP cap is too aggressive, while president of Tufts Health Plan calls the governor’s proposal positive and balanced. Senators are expected to resume debates today.