Views From Mass.: Novel Effort To Curb Health Costs Is Being Closely Watched
Several outlets analyze the state's initiative to slow health expenditures.
Stateline: Massachusetts Tackles Health Costs
Now Massachusetts, which has the highest per capita health spending of any state in the country, is moving on the cost front. A bill signed last week by Democratic Governor Deval Patrick seeks to cut expenses by shifting the entire health system away from traditional open-ended fee-for-service medicine and setting legal limits on what the state and its residents are willing to pay. According to a statement by Patrick, the new law "cracks the code on cost," by "ushering in the end of fee-for-service in Massachusetts in favor of better care and lower costs" (Christine Vestal, 8/16).
New England Journal of Medicine: Tackling Rising Health Care Costs In Massachusetts
As with Massachusetts' expansion of health insurance in 2006, this new state law to control rising health care costs will be closely watched by other states and the federal government. Legislative leaders project that the law will save as much as $200 billion in health care spending over the next 15 years. Whether this projection will be realized remains to be seen, but a crucial cornerstone of the new law is its framework for the state government, insurers, and health care providers to share responsibility for containing costs (John Z. Ayanian and Philip J. Van der Wees, 8/15).
Journal of the American Medical Association: Coming Attractions? Romneycare – The Remake
As many people know, when Mitt Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, he promoted and signed a state health reform law that expanded health insurance coverage through government investment. But now, in his campaign for the presidency of the United States, Mitt Romney is downplaying his responsibility for what has become called Romneycare, even though this legislation became the model for the federal health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Governor Romney has now joined the Republican chorus in opposition to the ACA, but he has been relatively silent about his diagnosis and treatment plan for the US health care system (Andrew Bindman, 8/16).