5th Anniversary of Reform: What You Need To Know

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the landmark Massachusetts health care reform law, chapter 58.

HCFA will mark the milestone with our gala fundraising dinner tonight, For The People, A Celebration of Health Care Leaders. Please join us! Information on registering can be found here.

For us at HCFA, it’s an emotional day. We poured everything we had into getting the law enacted (see our 2005 and 2006 timelines). The five years of working on implementation have reinforced the lesson Judy Meredith taught us long ago, “Implementation is a life sentence without parole.” The ongoing unity of the ACT!! Coalition, the stunning success of implementation, and the role we played in the passage of national reform fill us with pride.

To mark the anniversary, we present three ways to get a good quick summary of the accomplishments to date and the challenges remaining. Which resource is best for you depends on your learning style:

  • For visual learners, who like charts and graphs: The Blue Cross Foundation issued today a chartpack, Health Reform In Massachusetts: Assessing the Results (pdf), also available in powerpoint presentation format. The slides present a comprehensive overview of the key components of chapter 58, with data on coverage, employer and individual responsibility, affordability, access to care, and remaining challenges. The Foundation will keep the slides current through future updates, too. The chartpack is just the latest entry in the Foundation’s comprehensive Health Reform Results page, which links to all the key studies and reports on implementation progress.
  • For auditory learners, who want to listen to a conversation: Today’s WBUR Morning Edition show included an 8-minute report on health reform’s anniversary, featuring a detailed interview with Nancy Turnbull, Connector Board member and Associate Dean at the Harvard School of Public Health. The candid discussion goes into the issues of cost, health improvements, and next steps. Even if you know a lot about health reform, you will learn from listening to the report. From the beginning, WBUR has been the go-to source for coverage of health reform. Their CommonHealth blog remains the essential chronicler of the state’s health policy path; we just miss the old fights that broke out on their comments during the early days of reform.
  • For readers, who want a quick, easy-to-read summary: The Connector’s one-pager, The Top Ten Facts about Massachusetts Health Care Reform (pdf) puts it all together in a simple page of highlights. A bit longer, but still very readable is the Connector’s 2010 Progress Report (pdf). Both of these publications reflect the Connector’s ongoing commitment to telling the story of reform in accessible ways. We mentioned yesterday that the Connector was praised by the hard-right National Review for their transparency. We, too, have long praised the Connector for their detailed public reports, compliance with open meeting regulations and overall devotion to openness that exceed other agencies.
  • For those who like to watch videos: Tomorrow, the Chronicle newsmagazine on Channel 5 will devote a live hour to reviewing Massachusetts health reform. We haven’t seen it yet, obviously, but we’ll update the post after it airs. Channel 5 has also been a stalwart among the media in covering reform. They did a weeklong series of five reports in 2007, and convened a live forum before the bill was passed where Governor Romney and Senate Health Care Committee chair Richard Moore shook hands and agreed in public to find a way to get a bill done.

What’s your favorite resource? Use the comments below.

And Happy Birthday!

-Brian Rosman

About HCFA

The Ultimate Massachusetts Health Care Insider Information
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One Response to 5th Anniversary of Reform: What You Need To Know

  1. Neil Cronin says:

    My favorite resource remains this blog. Happy Birthday Health Reform.

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