Massachusetts Insurance Law Expands Coverage, Brings Unexpected Costs
A two-year-old Massachusetts law requiring most residents to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty has boosted the number of insured state residents but brought on higher-than-expected costs for the state, which underestimated the number of residents who would enroll, PBS' "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" reports.
The state now estimates that the program will cost about 10% more than anticipated for next fiscal year, creating a revenue gap of about $150 million.
According to "NewsHour," ballooning costs and enrollment "have made Massachusetts a real-life Rorschach test about attitudes toward health care reform at the state and nation levels."
The segment includes comments from:
- Lori Abrams Berry, executive director of the Lynn Community Health Center;
- John Kingsdale, executive director of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector;
- John McDonough, executive director of Health Care for All;
- Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D);
- Michael Tanner, director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute; and
- Massachusetts residents (Dentzer, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 4/28).