Five painful health care lessons from Massachusetts
(CNN Money) The best guide to how President Obama’s historic health-care legislation will reshape the nation’s medical marketplace and fiscal future is the pioneering model in Massachusetts. The Bay State’s reform program started in late 2006, and it shares virtually all the major features of the new federal plan.
Both programs greatly expand Medicaid coverage for low-earners, and provide heavily subsidized policies for a broad swath of the middle class. They tightly restrict the range of premiums for customers of different ages and medical conditions; they bar insurers from charging older patients, or even coach potatoes who abuse their health, anywhere near their actual cost. Both plans impose a long list of expensive benefits insurers must provide whether patients want to pay for them or not, ranging in Massachusetts from in-vitro fertilization to chiropractic services. (Read more…)