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.

Related Articles


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 January 30, 2015 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 January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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