Revenue Cycle

Study: Massachusetts health reform is a failed model

Patient Financial Services Weekly Advisor, February 20, 2009

By Les Masterson, for HealthLeaders Media

The single-payer healthcare system was once the reform flavor of the moment, but it has been largely pushed to the rear and replaced by talk of a public insurance option and individual mandate.

Massachusetts' healthcare reform, which included an individual mandate that required residents to purchase insurance, has increased coverage, but critics charge that the plan has not decreased costs or improved access to care.

In a study released Wednesday, two organizations say the Massachusetts health system is a failure and national policymakers should not look to that model as a possible solution. Instead, they propose a single-payer "Medicare for all" system as a better alternative.

Physicians for a National Health Program and Public Citizen, which support a single-payer health system, charged the Massachusetts project has not covered as many people as claimed, not contained costs, and hurt safety-net providers like public hospitals and community clinics.

In fact, the individual mandate is merely a "new tax on the uninsured," according to the study.

Read the full story on HealthLeaders Media’s Web site.

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