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

National Health Reform

They Say Cut Back. We All Say Fight Back.

Tom Price tears a page from the health care bill during a press conference. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) Read more »

Does Governing Trump Campaigning? The Future of Health Reform in Massachusetts

The election of Donald Trump, running on a platform of complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act, puts at risk the coverage of some 22 million people who rely on the law for their health insurance. Patients who depend on the law for their coverage are fearing the worst. Read more »

More Thoughts on the CHIA Report ("A blip, not a bloop")

The headline leads today's Globe's front page: Health care costs jump, a setback for Mass. There's no question that today's report from CHIA, with its topline finding of a 4.8% per capita growth in total health care spending in 2014, might lead to the perception that our progress in controlling health care cost growth has hit a bump. Certainly 4.8% exceeds the state's goal of holding spending growth to 3.6% or less. But digging into the report, there's a complex mix of good and bad news, and the report defies simplistic conclusions. So here are a few of our takeaways: Read more »

Six States Join Massachusetts in the Under 5% Uninsured Club

The Gallup Poll does big national surveys asking people if they have health insurance. It's not as rigorous as our state surveys, but it's more frequent and provides a good snapshot that allows one to compare states. Their latest results for the first half of 2015 were released this week. Nationwide, the uninsured rate fell from 17.3 percent in 2013 to 11.7 percent through the first half of this year. Here's the amazing bottom line: Through the first half of 2015, there are now seven states with uninsured rates that are at or below 5%: Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota, Iowa,... Read more »

Court Looks To Massachusetts As It Upholds The Affordable Care Act

Today's 6-3 Supreme Court decision has Massachusetts health reform written all over it, right up front. After describing past failures to effectively reform health care coverage policy, Chief Justice Roberts turns to us, on pages 3-4 of the opinion: We couldn't be prouder of the role Massachusetts has played in the formulation, passage and implementation of the ACA. We were the incubator of the ideas, the test bed for the policy, and, of course, our delegation, led by Senator Kennedy, was crucial in the law's passage. Now our success is pivotal to upholding the law, establishing it as part... Read more »

Is MassHealth Really Unsustainable?

Administration officials from the Governor on down have been repeating the mantra over the past few months - MassHealth is "unsustainable."  Last Monday, EOHHS held a big public input session, titled, "Creating a Sustainable MassHealth Program." Yes, MassHealth takes up a large portion of the state budget (but not as large as you think). And yes, MassHealth has seen spending increases over the years (but what part of the health care system hasn’t)? But, does that make the MassHealth program unsustainable? Let’s look more closely at the facts. Read more »

CHIA Reports on ACA: "Massachusetts is growing closer to near-universal coverage."

CHIA, the state's Center for Health Information and Analysis, just released their latest report totaling all enrollment in insurance coverage in Massachusetts. This is the first report that looks at the impact of the ACA coverage expansions here, which started on January 1, 2014. The breathtaking bottom line: The ACA has dramatically expanded health coverage in Massachusetts. In just the 3 months between December 31, 2013 and March 31, 2014, total coverage increased by more than 215,000 people, or around 3.9%. CHIA's conclusion: Read more »

Congressional Delegation Releases Report on ACA Impact on Massachusetts

      A new report details the positive impact the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had in Massachusetts. The report (read it here), issued by Senator Elizabeth Warren along with Senator Ed Markey and almost all of the state's Congressional delegation, provides example after example of people whose lives were directly affected by the help offered through the ACA. Read more »

Impact of Republican Repeal Bill in Massachusetts

Three brand new resources to help people understand the impact of the House-proposed Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act - an infographic summary of coverage losses; a 1-page summary of the impact on Medicaid (MassHealth); and a more comprehensive chart we prepared comparing the ACA with the Republican AHCA, and the impact on Massachusetts. The Medicaid summary is here, you can download the chart here, and see the infographic below:   Read more »

Analysis Reveals Republican Health Plan Fails Massachusetts

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the legislative branch’s nonpartisan policy analysis arm, released its analysis of the Republican health plan put forward to replace Obamacare. As expected, the CBO report showed that the Republican’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) would result in drastically reduced health coverage, rising health care costs, and disproportionate harm to the old, the poor, and the sick. Specifically, the report found that 24 million Americans would lose coverage by 2026 and that nationally, premiums would rise anywhere from 15% - 20% in 2018 and 2019. Read more »

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