BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick praised lawmakers Tuesday for tackling the high cost of medical care in Massachusetts while expressing reservations about some aspects of cost containment legislation, including a proposal to create a new state agency responsible for monitoring health care expenditures.

Patrick's remarks to a breakfast meeting of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce came hours before the state Senate opened debate on a wide-ranging bill that seeks to reduce health care costs by more than $150 billion over the next 15 years. House leaders have also introduced a version of the bill, the most sweeping attempt at overhauling health care in the state since then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed a first-in-the-nation universal health care law in 2006.

Patrick said both bills have a "lot to like," but he said he was not convinced of the need for a semi-independent authority to oversee the health care market, as proposed by both chambers of the Legislature. The governor called the creation of such agencies that have less public accountability "a bad Massachusetts habit."

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