In his August Executive Director’s Monthly Message, Kingsdale dispels the top ten myths about Massachusetts health reform. Click here to read his memo, which includes detailed citations and links for all the facts. In this climate of continued attacks on the Massachusetts model, we thank the Connector for the reminder of all of our achievements.
Here are ten truths about Massachusetts health reform:
- Commonwealth Care is not markedly more expensive than budgeted; the increase in costs is due to higher than anticipated enrollment, with costs per person rising less than 5% per year.
- Health reform is sustainable with current offsets and federal assistance, costing the state just 1% of its annual budget.
- Private insurance premiums have increased at a slower pace since health reform was passed, and the merger of the small and non-group markets created reduced premiums for individual purchasers.
- Massachusetts is creatively working to increase its primary care workforce, and the state has better access to care than the national average.
- Massachusetts has the highest rate of insurance in the nation, at over 97%.
- Approximately 430,000 Massachusetts residents are newly insured, thanks to health reform, with 44% in private health plans.
- There has been no significant “crowd out,” or shifting of insurance from the private to the public sector.
- Public support for the law remains high, with 7 out of 10 residents positive about health reform.
- Under the law, minimum creditable coverage creates a baseline of comprehensive coverage under the individual mandate.
- Massachusetts has kept its health safety net under the law, moving many onto subsidized insurance and also maintaining services for those ineligible.
The other truth is that behind the statistics are our neighbors, real people every one who are able to live their lives with decent health coverage. Fox covered one of them last night:
“It was becoming a life or death issue, because I couldn’t afford to stay alive without health insurance,” says 28-year-old Charli Henley, who has a rare autoimmune disease. Henley is one of the more than 430,000 newly insured people in Massachusetts and is on the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care.
UPDATE: This video features Kingsdale refuting the myths on CNBC: