A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

What Kind of Reform Works and Does Not Work? (Chip Joffe Halpern)

What Kind of Reform Works and Does Not Work? (Chip Joffe Halpern)

April 30, 2005

The National Academy of State Health Policy observes that for 25 years states have served as laboratories for health care reform efforts. In examining the impact and effectiveness of state funded health insurance programs they observe:

"State demonstrations have shown that, in order to provide coverage to significant numbers of the uninsured in a voluntary market, benefits must be comprehensive and affordable, carefully marketed, and offered through a simplified, accessible, eligibility process. They have also demonstrate that the cost of coverage poses a significant barrier to accessing coverage. To achieve affordability, plans must be offered to low-income families with premiums not to exceed one percent to three percent of family income."

If the outcome vision of the three major health care bills being considered in the state legislature is to decrease the numbers of uninsured , they need to learn from the research of NASHP. As these plans develope, it is crucial to design them so they are truly affordable for lower-income families.

This was taken from an op-ed column written by HCFA Board President Chip Joffe-Halpern in the April 28th edition of the North Adams Transcript. To view the entire piece, click here.