Some commentators have cheekily called the Governor’s proposal “Massachusetts on steroids.” Lots of people have lots of contradictory thoughts on the Massachusetts plan. So do we. Here’s a 17-page Health Access discussion paper, which is more relevant than ever, at:
So what’s the response of a consumer advocate in MA to the Governor? Here’s John McDonough, former Democratic state legislator and head of the MA group Health Care for All (not related to the group of the same name in California), and the wonkish but always interesting “A Healthy Blog”:
“The Massachusetts law was constructed to provide benefits to everyone possible and minimal pain to anyone. The Schwarzenegger plan has something to alienate almost everyone — business will hate the payroll tax; docs and hospitals will hate the assessments; many insurers will balk at a ban on medical underwriting; many consumers will balk at the individual mandate; progressives will claim it’s way to stall single payer. Not a promising political recipe.”
As we detail in our paper and in this one-pager about the differences between MA and CA, once the Governor went down this road, he needed to do something much bigger because the problem is bigger in both scope and size: California starts with many more uninsured, less funding in the system, and fewer rules and oversight for insurers than Massachusetts. In many ways, the Governor didn’t go far enough to even make up ground to where Massachusetts is. But that’s what the legislative debate will be about.