Inability Of Mass. To Curb Health Costs Could Be Harbinger For National Efforts

Politico: Last week, Massachusetts health reform "advocates celebrated a new report showing that, despite the devastating economic slump, the vast majority of Massachusetts residents had not dropped health insurance coverage." But also in the headlines were reports that "a state official called Massachusetts's decision to reject the vast majority of insurer rate hikes a 'train wreck' that would very likely lead to the insolvency of some companies. The two story lines in the Boston newspapers succinctly encapsulate the state of the country's first experiment in health reform. While Massachusetts has succeeded wildly at increasing coverage, it has not been able to curb skyrocketing health insurance costs. The dilemma facing Massachusetts could well be a harbinger of things to come nationally" (Kliff, 6/15).

CNN Money/Fortune: The Massachusetts' experience offers "[t]he best guide to how President Obama's historic health-care legislation will reshape the nation's medical marketplace and fiscal future." That state's reform "started in late 2006, and it shares virtually all the major features of the new federal plan. ... The battle in Massachusetts may foreshadow the results of the new federal law. It threatens to mirror precisely the cycle we're witnessing in the Bay State: Spiraling costs that make coverage unaffordable for both patients and businesses, followed by price controls that drive private providers from the market " (Tully, 6/15).

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