The Boston Globe on the Massachusetts Health-Care Reforms
The Boston Globe has a good editorial today on the reality behind the Massachusetts health-care reforms:
Pundits and politicians who oppose universal healthcare for the nation have a new straw man to kick around - the Massachusetts reform plan that covers more than 97 percent of the state’s residents. In the myth that these critics have manufactured, this state’s plan is bleeding taxpayers dry, creating nothing less than a medical Big Dig.
The facts - according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation - are quite different. Its report this spring put the cost to the state taxpayer at about $88 million a year, less than four-tenths of 1 percent of the state budget of $27 billion. Yes, the state recently had to cut benefits for legal immigrants, and safety-net hospital Boston Medical Center has sued for higher state aid. But that is because the recession has cut state revenues, not because universal healthcare is a boondoggle. The main reason costs to the state have been well within expectations? More than half of all the previously uninsured got coverage by buying into their employers’ plans, not by opting for one of the state-subsidized plans.
This should be exciting news for those fiscal conservatives, including both Republicans and “blue dog’’ Democrats, who claim to support the goal of universal coverage while despairing over its budget impact. But that’s not what you hear from the Massachusetts bashers.
It's been convenient for critics of health-care reform to assail the Massachusetts effort. But the Massachusetts effort -- which was focused on coverage, not cost -- worked. It has been a success. It has radically cut the number of uninsured residents. It has come in at about the cost predicted. It has proved popular. And it has given Massachusetts the courage to contemplate much more aggressive cost control than anything that's being consider at the national level, or in another state.
That last bit is important: Doing coverage actually pushed Massachusetts to begin addressing cost. If national health-care reform has a similar effect, it will have been wildly successful.
Posted by: lensch | August 5, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ThomasEN | August 5, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lensch | August 5, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kingstu01 | August 5, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: obrier2 | August 5, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pj_camp | August 5, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tom10023 | August 5, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ThomasEN | August 6, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.