Study Says Mass. Health Reform Not A Budget Hardship

A study from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says that the commonwealth's health law has amounted to only a small increase in spending on health care. In the meantime, some struggling municipalities in Massachusetts have opted out of a new law that reduces local government's share of health care costs for employees.

Kaiser Health News: Report: Mass. Health Law No 'Budget Buster'
Outside Massachusetts, talk show hosts and politicians frequently blast the state's health coverage law as a "budget buster." … That's just one of the myths the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) hopes to debunk with a report out Friday. The facts will help. Michael Widmer, president of the MTF, says the state has spent just $91 million more a year since 2006 to cover the uninsured, than it was spending before the law passed. The sum amounts to 1.4 percent of the state budget (Bebinger, 4/13).

Earlier, related KHN coverage: Different Takes: How Massachusetts Can Control Health Care Costs (3/12).

Boston Globe: A Few Opt Out Of State's Care Plan
Ninety-four municipalities and school districts around the state have formally adopted a state law that saves taxpayers millions of dollars by reducing local government's share of health care costs for city and town employees. But three communities south of Boston -- Brockton, Kingston, and Easton -- are among the four in the Bay State to formally reject the savings initiative. The fourth is West Springfield. The no votes are mind-boggling, especially in Brockton, a city that is struggling with a budget deficit of about $12 million, said Michael Widmer, executive director of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation and a key backer of the health care change (Bolton, 4/15).

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