Massachusetts Coalition for Coverage and Care
In the face of challenges to the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), which fundamentally threaten the health care system we have built in Massachusetts, a group of consumers, the business community, insurers, labor, hospitals, doctors, community health centers, religious groups and many others have joined together to form the Massachusetts Coalition for Coverage & Care. Members of the coalition have different interests and benefit differently from the gains made in our state, but all believe that Massachusetts must preserve access to affordable coverage and care for everyone. Ninety-seven percent of people in Massachusetts have health insurance, the highest rate in the country. The expansion of affordable coverage has been good for the Commonwealth, improving access to care, financial security, health, and health equity, and we have a shared responsibility to ensure that any actions out of Washington, D.C., don’t disrupt the health coverage and care for residents of the Commonwealth. The two goals of the coalition are to:
Preserve and improve access to, and the affordability of, health insurance coverage in Massachusetts; and
Protect the gains in access to care, health, and health equity that have resulted from near universal coverage in the state.
The coalition will increase knowledge about the progress that Massachusetts has made because of the state’s health coverage law (Chapter 58) and the ACA, broaden understanding of what is at stake if the ACA is repealed and/or replaced, and identify actions that the state and others can take to protect coverage and care for residents of the Commonwealth.
(Ratified January 3, 2017)
Press Release: Urban Institute Study Projects Major Losses to Health Coverage or Funding Gaps under House Repeal and Replace Bill
When Fully Phased In (2022), the AHCA Would Drain $1.4 Billion in Federal Funding from Mass., or Nearly Half a Million Residents Could Lose Coverage if Federal Funds Not Replaced
BOSTON (May 23, 2017) – A study by the Urban Institute that was commissioned by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation in its role as a co-convener of the Massachusetts Coalition for Coverage and Care (Coalition) projects devastating consequences for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its residents if the House-passed version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) becomes law. The Coalition, made up of over 75 organizations and individuals, is committed to protecting against anything that threatens health care coverage or makes it increasingly unaffordable for Massachusetts residents; a commitment that has also been articulated by the Baker administration.
“The gains in coverage that we have worked so hard for here in Massachusetts could be erased if the AHCA is enacted in its current form. Nearly half a million of our most vulnerable residents could become uninsured,” said Audrey Shelto, president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. “The study projects an overwhelming loss in federal revenue that if not replaced by state funding, or addressed through significant changes to the existing Medicaid program, could result in a loss of coverage that leaves us worse off than we were pre-reform in Massachusetts.”
This state-level analysis created by the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center models the impact on Massachusetts in 2022 when the AHCA would be fully phased in. It is believed to be the first published study of the bill’s impact on an individual state. Among its findings are:
- In 2022, the AHCA would result in a reduction of $1.4 billion in federal Medicaid funding for the Commonwealth.
- In order to maintain current levels of MassHealth coverage in 2022, the state would need to identify $1.1 billion in replacement funds or make major changes to the program.
- If that funding is not replaced, approximately 355,000 adults on MassHealth, or one in five enrollees, could be cut and the state’s uninsured rate could increase to as high as 10.3 percent.
- The elimination of the ConnectorCare program (which is supported by both federal and state funding) and the current ACA advance premium tax credits, would result in approximately 90,000 individuals losing coverage.
“The study’s results detail a very bleak set of outcomes, all of which have serious repercussions,” said Stephen Rosenfeld, interim executive director of Health Care For All, a coconvener of the Coalition. “We can calculate the impact in terms of dollars and statistics. However, behind each number there is a story of a neighbor or a family who will struggle to access the care they need.”
The Urban Institute employed a state-level version of its Health Insurance Policy Simulation Model, or HIPSM, which estimates the cost and coverage effects of proposed health care policy options. To evaluate how the health care system would be affected by policy changes, HIPSM simulates the decisions of employers, families, and individuals to offer and enroll in health insurance coverage. The model shows the effects of policy on government and private health care spending, health insurance premiums in employer and non-group health insurance risk pools, rates of employer offers of coverage, and health insurance coverage.
Press Release: Consumer, Provider, Business and Labor Communities Join In Coalition To Protect Health Care Access And Funding
Boston (Jan. 4, 2017) - A broad array of Massachusetts organizations representing consumers, providers, health plans, businesses, labor unions and faith organizations have come together to form the Massachsuetts Coalition for Coverage and Care, which will educate policy makers in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., as to the impact that could be felt if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, a development that could occur soon after President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
"There seems to be a belief among some that no matter how Congress and the president-elect act with regard to the ACA, Massachusetts will be protected because we passed state health reform (Chapter 58) in 2006," said Audrey Shelto, president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, which is providing research and technical assistance and is a co-convener of the Coalition. "In fact, there is a tremendous amount at risk here if the ACA is repealed, including the loss of coverage for hundreds of thousands of residents as well as millions of dollars in federal funding. All of our gains are jeopardized under such a scenario."
Massachusetts has achievaaed the highest insurance rate in the country with more than 97 percent of the population covered. The expansion of affordable coverage has enabled improved access to care, financial security, health, and health equity. Members of the Coalition have different interests and benefit differently from the gains made in the state, but all believe that Massachusetts must preserve and even improve access to affordable coverage and care for everyone.
The mission of the Coalition, outlined in a founding principles document ratified yesterday by the group, includes demonstrating a commitment to a shared responsibility to ensure that any federal action does not disrupt the health coverage and care for residents of the Commonwealth.
The two goals of the Coalition are:
- To preserve and improve access to, and the affordability of, health insurance coverage in Massachusetts; and
- To protect the gains in access to care, health, and health equity that have resulted from near universal coverage in the state.
The Coalition will act to increase knowledge about the progress that Massachusetts has made because of the state's health coverage law (Chapter 58) and the ACA, broaded understanding of what is at stake if the ACA is repealed and/or replaced, and identify actions that the state and others can take to protect coverage and care for residents of the Commonwealth. A current Coalition membership list is attached; the group is expected to grow.
"We're proud of the progess we have made in Massachusetts, first with our state law in 2006, and then even further under the Affordable Care Act," said Stephen Rosenfeld, interim executive director of Health Care For All, the other co-convener of the Coalition. "Together, we will act to provent disruption for our many fellow residents who have gained coverage under the law."
Thomas Barker, Esq.
Donald Berwick, MD
Richard G. Frank, PhD
Philip W. Johnston, Chair, BCBSMA Foundation
Jon Kingsdale, PhD
John E. McDonough, DrPH, MPA
Richard T. Moore