MASSACHUSETTS' HEALTH CARE REFORM IS FAILING

March 2, 2009

Massachusetts has been lauded for its health care reform, but the program is a failure.  Created solely to achieve universal insurance coverage, the plan does not even begin to address the other essential components of a successful health care system, says Dr. Susanne King. 

What would such a system provide?  The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine has defined five criteria for health care reform.  Coverage should be: universal, not tied to a job, affordable for individuals and families, affordable for society, and it should provide access to high-quality care for everyone.

The Massachusetts' plan flunks on all counts, says King:

  • It hasn't achieved universal health care: more than 20,000 Bostonians are without coverage.
  • It doesn't address the problem of insurance being connected to jobs; for individuals, this mean their insurance is not continuous if they change or lose jobs, and for employers, especially small business, health insurance is an expense they can ill afford.

Moreover:

  • It's not affordable for many individuals and families; for example, for an individual earning $31,213, the cheapest plan is $9,872.
  • The cost of the reform had been formidable and it does not assure access to care; spending for the Commonwealth Care subsidized program has doubled, from $630 million in 2007 to an estimated $1.3 billion for 2009, which is not sustainable.

Source: Susanne L. King, "Mass. health care reform is failing us," Boston Globe, March 2, 2009.

For text:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/03/02/mass_healthcare_reform_is_failing_us/ 

 

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