PBS Examines Massachusetts Health Insurance Law Effects

Armen Hareyan's picture

PBS' "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" on Monday reported on how the Massachusetts health insurance law hasaffected the state's fiscal situation and uninsurance rates. According to"NewsHour," since the law was enacted about two years ago,higher-than-expected enrollment and costs "have made Massachusetts a real-life Rorschach testabout attitudes toward health reform at the state and national levels."

The state predicts the program will cost about 10% more than previouslyestimated for the next fiscal year, creating a revenue gap of about $150million. Gov. Deval Patrick (D) said, "There are 300,000 adults andchildren who were uninsured just a year ago who are insured today and haveaccess to quality primary care, and that's great news." He added, "Iwould say that the enrollment has happened faster than was projected, which isgood news but also created some financial challenges for us."

The segment also includes comments from Michael Tanner, director of health andwelfare studies at the Cato Institute; John McDonough, executive directorof Health Care for All; Lori Abrams Berry, executive director of the Lynn Community Health Center; Jon Kingsdale, executive director of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector; and Massachusetts residents(Dentzer, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 4/28).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.