Massachusetts set up a health insurance exchange even before the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed—in fact, its health coverage reform effort was the model for the ACA.
So it's important to track how the exchange approach is working out for the state's residents. Last week, a Boston Globe article outlined some of the challenges that still exist: namely, even for those who have insurance, finding a doctor and affording the costs of care can be problematic.
"The 2006 law, which became the model for the federal Affordable Care Act, quickly succeeded at its main goal: ensuring coverage for nearly all residents.* But the survey by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation shows access remains a concern, especially for those with low incomes or health problems."
To read the whole article, click here.
As we often point out, while it is great that many people who were uninsured finally have health care coverage, the problems we continue to face are due in large part to our reliance on the private insurance system, with its limited provider networks and its high copays and deductibles.
That's why we're working to change the paradigm through passage of the Health Security Act, which would set up an ACA-compliant statewide health coverage model that does not rely on private insurance.
* Note that Massachusetts was confronted with a relatively small percentage of uninsured residents, especially in comparison to New Mexico.