Jon Gruber helped design the Massachusetts health-care reforms, so he’s not an unbiased observer of their progress. But he’s also one of the best health economists in the country, and he’s unfailingly serious about the data. So it’s worth taking a look at his paper running through what we know, and don’t know, about how the Massachusetts health reforms have performed. Don’t want to read the whole paper?Austin Frakt condenses it into 11 lessons:
1) There has been a dramatic expansion of health insurance, reducing the uninsurance rate by 60-70%.
2) No change in wait times for general an internal medicine practitioners have been observed.
3) The share of the population with a usual source of care, receiving preventative care, and receiving dental care all rose.
4) The rate of utilization of emergency care fell modestly.
5) There has been a 40% decline in uncompensated care.
6) The proportion of the population with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by 0.6%.
7) The rate of employer offers of coverage grew from 70% to 76%.
8) Mandate compliance has been very high: 98% compliance in reporting via tax filings of obtaining coverage or paying penalties.
9) The administrative costs of health reform have been low. Overall implementation costs have been close to expectations.
10) Premiums have fallen dramatically in the non-group market.
11) Though group premiums have risen, they have not increased faster than one would expect from increases in other states in the region.