As someone deeply involved in drafting the law, our operating principle was to deal with the issue of access first, and then try to control costs. But the first big step was to get everyone under the insurance umbrella.
By any measure, the Massachusetts law succeeded in getting everyone covered. The state’s rate of uninsured is approaching zero, the lowest in the country by a wide margin. More than 430,000 additional people now enjoy the security of health insurance, approximately half without any government assistance.
The law also made good on its ability to sustain these health insurance coverage gains without breaking the bank. Enrollment in the partially government-subsidized Commonwealth Care program is in line with projections from 2005, and premium costs are within a reasonable margin for error.
The law also made sensible insurance market reforms that balanced the need for consumer protection with a vibrant, and financially solvent, insurance sector.