For today’s health care consumers, the lack of side-by-side information on the price and quality of health care services can be exasperating. Without this information, making an informed decision about which provider to choose for a particular service—such as a surgery, screening, or care for an illness—can be nearly impossible. Providing this information up front is an important step toward the goal of creating a health care system that provides higher-quality health care while controlling costs.
The Affordable Care Act did a lot to help uninsured consumers get health coverage, but it did not entirely resolve the very real problems with insurance affordability for low- and moderate-income consumers. These consumers often struggle to meet other living costs and, even once they have health insurance, may not be able to get the health care they need because they have trouble paying for costs associated with their premiums, office visits, and other types of health care.
On April 12, 2006, Mitt Romney signed the Massachusetts Health Insurance Reform into law. In doing so, he proudly stated that the new law would expand health insurance coverage and consumer protections to people across the state. Less than a year later, he touted “RomneyCare” as a model for nation-wide replication.
Those of you who have followed health reform have probably heard a lot about Massachusetts’ historic health reform law that passed in 2006—what’s going well, what could be done better, and what it might mean for health reform implementation around the country. We’ve even blogged about it this month.
Last week, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation released a report by the Urban Institute analyzing the impact of the Massachusetts’s health reform law over the past year. By all accounts, access, quality, and affordability have improved for all Bay Staters both since the inception of the bill in April 2006 and over the past year.