What is the Evidence on Health Reform in Massachusetts and how Might the Lessons from Massachusetts Apply to National Health Reform?

Health reform was enacted into law in Washington, D.C., but many of the decisions around implementation will be made at the state level. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is largely modeled on Massachusetts’ 2006 landmark reform effort, and includes expansions of public programs, the creation of health insurance exchanges, subsidies for low- and moderate-income individuals, an individual mandate, and employer requirements, among other provisions. Given the strong parallels between Massachusetts’ initiatives and national health reform, the experiences in the Bay State could provide insights into the potential effects of PPACA.

In a report funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, author Sharon Long reviews the evidence on how Massachusetts has responded to state health reform and the recession—and what this means for implementing national reform.