The High Price of Massachusetts Health Care Reform

In 2006, Massachusetts enacted landmark health care reform legislation that promised to extend health care coverage to all citizens while significantly lowering costs. The Beacon Hill Institute has calculated the effect of healthcare reform on state and federal governments and the private health insurance markets. The findings are unfavorable, to say the least. Since the law’s enactment, state health care expenditures have risen by $414 million and private insurance costs have escalated by over $4 billion. Additionally, by 2009—only three years after the bill’s implementation—premiums for plans covering a single individual rose by $289 per year. Furthermore, the bill’s proponents claimed that emergency room visits would decrease, given that the newly insured now had routine access to preventative care. In fact, emergency room use increased by over 7 percent within just three years.

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