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Health Reform in Massachusetts 2012

[slideshare id=15251371&doc=masshealthreformpresentation-121119131653-phpapp01]

GOVERNOR PATRICK SIGNS ‘NEXT BIG STEP FORWARD’ ON HEALTH CARE REFORM, MASSACHUSETTS POISED TO LEAD NATION ON COST CONTROL

At State House ceremony, Governor credits broad coalition for making landmark law possible; Cites better care at lower costs, savings of nearly $200 billion over 15 years & increase in take home pay for workers, savings for families

Governor Patrick signs the health care reform bill in Nurses Hall at the State House. (Photo Credit: Eric Haynes / Governor’s Office) View full size photo.

BOSTON – Monday, August 6, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today launched the next phase of health care reform, signing legislation that builds on the Commonwealth’s nation-leading access to care through landmark measures that will lower costs and make quality, affordable care a reality for all Massachusetts residents.

“Today, we take our next big step forward. Massachusetts has been a model to the nation for access to health care. Today we become the first to crack the code on cost. And we have come this far together,” said Governor Patrick. “The law I have signed makes the link between better health and lower costs, that we need a real health care system in place of the sick care system we have today. What we’re really doing is moving towards a focus on health outcomes, and a system to reward that. We are ushering in the end of fee-for-service care in Massachusetts in favor of better care at lower cost.” (Read the Governor’s full remarks here.)

During a ceremony at the State House, Governor Patrick joined medical, business and labor leaders, caregivers and patient advocates, and legislators and policy makers, crediting the broad coalition for delivering on the promise of the Commonwealth’s 2006 health care reform law that expanded coverage to over 98% of residents, including 99.8% of children. The Governor noted that the first phase of health care reform, which the Patrick-Murray Administration successfully implemented, has led to more residents having a primary care physician, more businesses offering coverage and an increase in preventive care.

“Our Administration has worked to increase access to quality health care for Massachusetts residents, and we have built a strong partnership with providers, consumers, and other stakeholders to address the affordability of care within the system,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “We thank the state legislature and all who have been dedicated to working with us as we prepare for the next phase of health care reform, reducing the rising cost within our health care system and easing the burden on Massachusetts families, businesses, and residents.”

“By striking just the right balance, this bill will help slow the spiraling health care costs faced by businesses and individual consumers while also allowing the marketplace to grow and function,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley. “We are proud to be part of this first-in-the-nation effort and are prepared to ensure the law’s fair and effective implementation. I thank Governor Patrick for his leadership on this issue and applaud the Legislature, particularly the work of Chairmen Walsh and Moore, as well as Senate President Murray and Speaker DeLeo, for this landmark health care bill.”

Payment Reform: The Massachusetts Experiment

 

JAMA Forum — The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Experiment: A Success

To some extent, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is based on the “Massachusetts experiment,” the health care legislation passed by the state in 2006, leading politicians on both sides of the political aisle to claim it as a success or failure. Supporters assert that the legislation resulted in nearly universal health insurance coverage in Massachusetts. Detractors point out that the quality of coverage may be suboptimal and its costs are exorbitant. Both sides have overstated their cases.Massachusetts health care reform was evolutionary, not revolutionary. In 1985, the state established a “free care pool” paid for by profitable facilities to support the safety net hospitals. Hospital rate deregulation in 1991 resulted in a cost crisis, leading both conservative and liberal politicians in Massachusetts to cooperate on legislation. In 2006, a Republican Governor, a Democratic Speaker of the House, and a Democratic President of the State Senate collaborated to develop Massachusetts health insurance reform. The Republican Governor insisted on a proposal originally written by Stuart Butler, PhD, of the conservative Heritage Foundation (and a JAMA Forum contributor), which included an individual mandate to purchase health insurance. Butler said, “If a young man wrecks his Porsche and has not had the foresight to obtain insurance, we may commiserate, but society feels no obligation to repair his car. But health care is different. If a man is struck down by a heart attack in the street, Americans will care for him whether or not he has insurance.”

Although it is true that the legislation resulted in near-universal health insurance coverage in Massachusetts, including 98% of the state’s population and nearly 100% of children, baseline rates of insurance were high before the law went into effect. In 2007-2008, when the law was just being implemented, uninsured rates in Massachusetts were only 5% at a time when up to 25% of the population of California, another progressive state, was uninsured.