" The prestigious Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, has defined five criteria for healthcare reform. Coverage should be: universal, not tied to a job, affordable for individuals and families, affordable for society, and it should provide access to high-quality care for everyone.
The state's plan flunks on all counts.
First, it has not achieved universal healthcare, although the reform has been a boon to the private insurance industry. The state has more than 200,000 without coverage, and the count can only go up with rising unemployment.
Second, the reform does not address the problem of insurance being connected to jobs. For individuals, this means their insurance is not continuous if they change or lose jobs. For employers, especially small businesses, health insurance is an expense they can ill afford.
Third, the program is not affordable for many individuals and families. For middle-income people not qualifying for state-subsidized health insurance, costs are too high for even skimpy coverage. For an individual earning $31,213, the cheapest plan can cost $9,872 in premiums and out-of-pocket payments. Low-income residents, previously eligible for free care, have insurance policies requiring unaffordable copayments for office visits and medications.
Fourth, the costs of the reform for the state have been formidable. Spending for the Commonwealth Care subsidized program has doubled, from $630 million in 2007 to an estimated $1.3 billion for 2009, which is not sustainable.
Fifth, reform does not assure access to care. High-deductible plans that have additional out-of-pocket expenses can result in many people not using their insurance when they are sick. In my practice of child and adolescent psychiatry, a parent told me last week that she had a decrease in her job hours, could not afford the $30 copayment for treatment sessions for her adolescent, and decided to meet much less frequently.
In another case, a divorced mother stopped treatment for her son because the father had changed insurance, leaving them with an unaffordable deductible. And at Cambridge Health Alliance, doctors and nurses have cared for patients who, unable to afford the new copayments, were forced to interrupt care for HIV and even cancers that could be treated with chemotherapy."-Susanne L. King, M.D.
it should be added that because health insurance premiums in the state escalated instead of going down, the state had to exempt many from the health insurance mandate (or the criminalization of those who cannot afford insurance as i like to see it. criminalizing the working class for existing.) because the state health connector could find no insurance they could afford and they technically made to much money for state subsidies.
MA slashes coverage for the poor under the mandated health care reform and drops legal immigrants( those with a green card) from subsidies( this was in june- when did you hear about it? never.):
this is the very program obama wants to mandate for us all. it is not working. it has not achieved any of the things the politicians claimed it would- grant wider access to more affordable care with lower insurance prices for everyone even those who were happy or at least relatively contented with both their health care and insurance pre-health care reform. in only 3 years it has done exactly the opposite and with rising unemployment and with any additional squeezing of the major job suppliers in the country- small businesses- is headed to a crash. why are the democrats and obama insisting on a system that has proven to be a failure no one can afford? is it stupidity, arrogance or something far more malicious? why the hurry to devastation rather than carefully crafting reform with an eye to the failure in Massachusetts that will actually work and that americans, not obama, want? everyone wants reform of both health care and health insurance and the proposed reform bills currently in congress only drive both systems into insolvency and ultimately failure that will not only cost money but lives.