Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

US Health care: Massachusetts health-care reform increased access to care, particularly among disadvantaged

Date:
July 15, 2011
Source:
Harvard Medical School
Summary:
Researchers have found that Massachusetts health reform has effectively increased access to health care and reduced disparities.

Recent research conducted at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health may have strong implications for informing the controversial debate currently surrounding national health care reform.

In a study published in the July edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the Harvard research team, led by first author Aakanksha Pande, a doctoral student in the Department of Population Medicine at HMS and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, found that Massachusetts health reform has effectively increased access to health care and reduced disparities. Massachusetts health reform is structurally similar to the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the federal statute signed into law by President Obama last year.

"As the political rhetoric heats up in advance of another presidential election cycle," said senior author Joshua Salomon, associate professor of international health at HSPH, "it's important to understand what the experience in Massachusetts tells us about the effects of health reform on access and affordability of care."

The researchers found that three years after being enacted in 2006, Massachusetts health reform was associated with a 7.6 percent increase in health insurance among residents, 4.8 percent decrease in those forgoing health care due to cost, and 6.6 percent increase in residents having a primary care physician. They also found that these improvements were most evident among socioeconomically disadvantaged groups.

Does Massachusetts health reform provide a good proxy for national reform? "Yes and no," said Pande. The terms of each act are similar, including the provision of a health mandate that requires all residents to obtain health insurance. However, Massachusetts health reform was passed with very little opposition in the state legislature, whereas the PPACA has been met with contention. For this reason, implementing health reform at the national level might prove more difficult.

According to Salomon, the success of Massachusetts health reform cannot be ignored. "Our study confirms that there has been a dramatic rise in health care coverage in Massachusetts since health reform was passed," he said.

"There had been lots of discussion in the media about the political and ethical aspects of requiring health insurance," said Pande. "But evidence of whether or not a health mandate works had not been established in a rigorous manner. We approached the issue from a neutral perspective and determined that, in Massachusetts, it does."

This research was funded by the Harvard Medical School Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Policy Research and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, the Harvard University PhD Program in Health Policy, and a fellowship for students from India in honor of Amartya Sen, the Thomas W. Lamont Harvard University Professor] from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Harvard Medical School. The original article was written by Joanna Logue. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aakanksha H. Pande, Dennis Ross-Degnan, Alan M. Zaslavsky, Joshua A. Salomon. Effects of Healthcare Reforms on Coverage, Access, and Disparities. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2011; 41 (1): 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.03.010

Cite This Page:

Harvard Medical School. "US Health care: Massachusetts health-care reform increased access to care, particularly among disadvantaged." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110715155155.htm>.
Harvard Medical School. (2011, July 15). US Health care: Massachusetts health-care reform increased access to care, particularly among disadvantaged. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110715155155.htm
Harvard Medical School. "US Health care: Massachusetts health-care reform increased access to care, particularly among disadvantaged." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110715155155.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins