Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

Kaiser Health News has A VERY INTERESTING article about the quite visceral reaction in Massachussetts from average working people who were forced to secure their own health coverage.

A poll by Harvard University and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Massachusetts Foundation, published in October 2008, found that 69 percent of
Massachusetts residents approve of the health reform law when it's presented as
"universal coverage" for all state residents. But when the mandate was isolated
on its own merits, only 58 percent approved. That number dropped to 37 percent
among those who were directly affected.

Harvard School of Public Health Professor Robert Blendon, who directed
the poll, cautions policy makers in Washington not to underestimate that
resistance – which, he adds, is likely to be even fiercer in states more
conservative than Massachusetts. "There are parts of this country where there's
sort of the libertarian argument that you just shouldn't make people do things,

From the beginning, Massachusetts lawmakers expected some hostility to
the mandate – and took steps to temper it. One way was to create a
subsidized insurance program called Commonwealth Care for people making up to
three times the poverty level, or $66,000 for a family of four. For those
outside that category, the Connector Authority – an agency in charge of
implementing the reform law – had promised to broker "affordable" private
policies. However, bids from insurers came back much higher than expected; the
average family premium is about $1,000 a month.

Some premiums rose more after the state came up with a list of minimum
benefits every policy had to include, such as prescription coverage. "Here's the
challenge and difficulty at this point," says State Representative John Scibak.
"What the state has determined is affordable, and what the health insurance
providers are offering, don't necessarily

No comments: