Health care cost containment presents a tricky political challenge for Deval Patrick, the state’s congenial, consensus-oriented CEO. The issue involves a sector vital to the state’s economy, includes an array of powerful stakeholders and energized activists, and will play out during a national campaign, in which Republicans can be expected to saddle President Obama, Patrick’s presidential pal, with anything Massachusetts Democrats do. Bringing the issue to a successful conclusion will be a big test of his skills.
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