Preparing for National Health Reform: Learning from Massachusetts's Reform Efforts
Sharon K. Long, University of Minnesota
Karen Stockley, Urban Institute
The 2010 national health reform legislation--the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)--is modeled on Massachusetts’s 2006 landmark reform effort, expansions of public programs, the creation of health insurance exchanges, subsidies for low- and moderate-income individuals, an individual mandate, and requirements for employers, among other provisions. Given the strong parallels between Massachusetts’ health reform initiative and national health reform, it is important to continue learning from the experiences in the Bay State under health reform. This paper provides an update as of 2010 on the effects of health reform in Massachusetts for working-age adults—the primary target population of many elements of the state’s reform initiative and of the provisions of ACA, examining the impact of health reform on insurance coverage, on access to and use of health care services, and on health care costs and the affordability of care.