Like a Car? The Massachusetts Model of Health Care

Monday, June 22, 2009

As President Obama and Congress work to reform health care, The Takeaway has been looking at possible models, at home and abroad, that could inform the debate. One possibility is the Massachusetts model for universal care. In April 2006, the Massachusetts legislature approved a bill that required all residents to purchase health insurance or face legal penalties, which made it the first state to tackle the problem of incomplete medical coverage by treating patients the same way it does car owners. Joining us to explain how this plan works, and how it would fare nationwide, is Trudy Lieberman. She directs the health and medicine reporting program at the City University of New York. She is also a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review, and has been following Massachusetts closely since 2006 when the sweeping reform was enacted.

For more of Trudy Lieberman's reporting on health care reform, check out her archive at Columbia Journalism Review.

Guests:

Trudy Lieberman

Comments [1]

Rick Evans

Well, thank you Trudy Lieberman for being one of the few honest assessments of the Massachusetts "Miracle" health insurance law. NPR reporters are too busy being cheer leaders report behind the law's sunny numbers.

First Prof. Lieberman is right about cost containment. It was kicked down the road and over a cliff by lawmakers. The law was crafted by lobbyists from providers, especially Blue Cross/Blue Shield and for profit Partners Health Care hospital chain.

Meanwhile these same trough feeders have partnered to stoke Massachusetts healthcare inflation. See: Boston Globe Investigative Reports: http://preview.tinyurl.com/8lo2m3

Subsidies for lower wage workers are a federal and state taxpayer corporate welfare gift to insurers. The state was back asking for more federal tax subsidies this year. The sustainability of this model is dubious.

Jun. 22 2009 07:26 AM

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