Rural Healthcare Eyes MA Reforms

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , August 8, 2012

Critics of the new law say it's a government takeover of healthcare delivery in Massachusetts, which in 2006 was also the first and only state in the nation to mandate that every citizen have health insurance. Pignatelli says that "to a point" the critics of the law are correct. But he quickly adds that government has to do something drastic to slow runaway cost growth in healthcare. 

"Prior to 2006 nobody was without care in Massachusetts. It was a question of who was paying for it. People were using the ER as their primary care physician and taxpayers were paying for it," he says. "This is the next bold step. Massachusetts has been ahead of every other state in the country when it comes to tackling this issue."

He concedes there is no guarantee that the law will realized anything near the $200 billion in savings that supports hope for. "It's all a projection. Let's you and I talk in 15 years to see if it is true," he says. "There are so many moving parts that it is going to be hard to quantify at the end of the day. But it's a recognition that this is the next big bold step to try to deal with the affordability aspect of healthcare."

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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