Copy Massachusetts’ Health Reform? Not So Fast, Researchers Say

Source: Steffie Woolhandler, Benjamin Day, and David U. Himmelstein, International Journal of Health Services, Volume 38, Number 3, 2008

From the press release:
Citing the failure of seven state-based health reforms over the past two decades – initiatives that bear a strong resemblance to the Massachusetts health reform of 2006 – a group of Massachusetts-based researchers cautions that early declarations of the latter’s success may be premature.

In an article titled “State Heath Reform Flatlines,” published in the most recent issue of the International Journal of Health Services, three researchers, two of whom teach at Harvard Medical School, examine the experiences of earlier reforms in Massachusetts, Oregon, Minnesota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington state and Maine. The plans were enacted from 1988 through 2003.

All seven reforms, which when launched were widely trumpeted by political leaders and leading newspapers as breakthroughs in providing universal health care, were based on the expansion of private insurance coverage, the authors say. But in each case the plan had little impact on the state’s number of uninsured persons and produced no sustained improvements in delivering care.

Leave a Reply