Health reformers continue to look to Massachusetts, which mandated coverage for all in 2006, for lessons on overhauling the health care system. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: "Massachusetts is the only state that has adopted the core elements of the plan outlined by President Obama and congressional Democrats: an individual mandate; an employer mandate; subsidies for the poor; insurance market reforms; and an 'exchange,' under which consumers can shop for coverage."
"It's also the example that advocates and skeptics of those ideas use in arguing their case. Democrats highlight the expansion of coverage; about 97 percent of Massachusetts residents have insurance, compared with 85 percent nationally. Republicans, including Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, ding it for spending too much; Massachusetts had to scale back its coverage goals this year in the face of a big state budget deficit. Health experts, meanwhile, consider it a useful laboratory to study the effects of revamping the health care system" (Yee, 9/20).