By Drew Monger, Staff Editor
An article published in the journal Health Affairs this month highlights some outcomes of the Massachusetts health care reform bill, which was passed in 2006. The study reported an increase in the number of insured residents from 86.6 percent in 2006 to 94.2 percent in 2010. The number of emergency room visits also decreased during this time period, highlighting that health care consumption is becoming more efficient. The legislation had mixed results in the cost category. While the number of people reporting problems paying medical bills decreased, the number of people who did not obtain treatment due to high costs increased.
Due to the similarities in the legislation, we can use Massachusetts as an example of potential outcomes for the Affordable Care Act. While the Massachusetts model of health reform has shown some positive results, further legislation will be necessary to control rapidly rising costs.