Massachusetts Health Insurance Law Captures Attention Of Other States

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The Massachusetts health insurance law is "attracting intense scrutiny" from other states that are considering ways to reduce the number of uninsured residents, Copley/San Diego Union-Tribunereports. Massachusetts officials and health care experts say the law"has a good chance" of achieving its goal of creating universal healthcoverage "by using both carrots and sticks." More than 150,000previously uninsured residents have obtained coverage in the program'sfirst year.

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However, according to Copley/Union-Tribune,it is "less clear" whether the plan would work in other states, such asCalifornia, "where money is scarce and the uninsured make up a largershare of the population." In addition, while state residents andbusinesses generally support the program in its current form, the statewill have to find ways to deal with increasing health care costs.

Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyand one of the law's authors, said, "Clearly, what's going to have tohappen in the long run is more money will have to be injected in theprogram. We don't have to in the next year or two, but if you look fiveor 10 years down the road, if this program is going to continue toexist, it's going to take more money to keep it going" (Lewis, Copley/San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/25).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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