A Healthy Blog

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


The New Health Reform Wave II: Vermont Version Includes $365 Employer Assessment

Yesterday, we posted about state activitists who are finding new opportunities to promote access reform in wake of the national attention generated by MA health reform. Here's a state that's done it -- Vermont. See AP story below: A historic health reform bill offering insurance coverage to thousands of uninsured Vermonters will soon be on the governor's desk awaiting his promised signature. In a 25-2 vote, senators gave quick approval Wednesday to a last-minute change in the health reform package. This change, which the House approved just before midnight Tuesday, broke a deadlock that had... Read more »

The New Health Reform Wave -- I

Here's the hypothesis -- the new MA health reform law has provided a jolt to policy makers and activists in other states to jump start their health reform efforts. I'll be providing evidence of this in forthcoming posts. Here's the first. UHCAN is the Universal Health Care Action Network run by great folks in Ohio, a network of state-based health reform activists. They do regular phone conference calls to exchange information and state developments. HCFA Policy Director Brian Rosman gave an MA briefing on the most recent call. After his part, the moderator, Rachel DeGolia, asked: How has... Read more »

MA Health Reform as National Model? Not in California

The California Health Care Foundation just released a report estimating a $9.4 billion cost to implement the MA health reform model in the Golden State, $1450 per uninsured resident. Not likely to be a winning formula. Click here for the study and here's the summary: In April 2006, Massachusetts became the first state to require all residents to obtain insurance. The plan has drawn national attention and sparked debate about whether a similar approach could work in California, which has 6.5 million uninsured residents—nearly 12 times the number in Massachusetts. Read more »

Watch What They Do -- Not What They Say

Back in January, when the Maryland Legislature was considering whether to override a gubernatorial veto of the so-called "Wal-Mart bill" -- which requires that for-profit employers with 10,000+ workers have to pay at least 8% of gross payroll on health benefits -- many were predicting Wal-Mart would financially punish the state for their uppity behavior. Wal-Mart sure doesn't like the new law, but punish the state? Don't think so ... (from Kaiser Daily briefing) Read more »


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