MASSACHUSETTS'S HEALTH CARE
August 13, 2008
Massachusetts's businesses have joined several of the state's health insurers to form a new consumer advocacy group, the Coalition for Affordable Health Coverage. Their goal is to slow health insurance premium increases and prevent the financial burden on employers from being increased through continued attempts by the Massachusetts's government to "universalize" health insurance, says EmaxHealth.
Though experts commend the new effort, many warn that the private sector will have to fight hard to take health care back from the state. Devon Herrick, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, agrees, adding that Massachusetts's current government-based plan is "destined to fail, because it has no cost control whatsoever."
- Businesses within the state were not vigilant enough when former governor Mitt Romney (R) and the legislature imposed a health reform that is proving far more expensive than promised.
- Commercial insurance premiums in the state have increased by an average of 10 percent in each of the past seven years.
- Massachusetts's per-capita health insurance spending is among the highest in the country.
In response, the Coalition has developed such goals that will:
- Allow consumers to choose a consumer-driven plan.
- Attempt to increase financial penalties on employers who do not provide health insurance for their employees.
- Oppose arbitrary changes to the definition of "reasonable employer contributions" to employee benefit plans under future overhauls of the state's health care legislation.
Herrick states that allowing consumers to choose a consumer-driven plan that meets their needs is better than forcing people into expensive plans with low cost-sharing. He adds that, "people can reduce their spending by merely explaining to their physician they have a significant cost-sharing requirement in their coverage plan, and by asking for prices."
Source: Editorial, "Massachusetts Insurers From Coalition to Fight Rising Health Care Costs," EmaxHealth, August 12, 2008.
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