No Miracle in Massachusetts: Why Governor Romney’s Health Care Reform Won’t Work

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Executive Summary

Massachusetts has enacted one of the mostfar‐​reaching state health insurance reform packagesin recent decades. Much attention has beenfocused on the act’s unprecedented mandatethat every resident obtain health insurance coverage.However, the act goes far beyond an individualmandate to radically change the wayhealth insurance is bought and sold in the state.Many observers see Massachusetts’s reforms as amodel for the nation, but a closer look providesample reasons to be skeptical. Among them:

  • The individual mandate opens the door towidespread regulation of the health careindustry and political interference in personalhealth care decisions.
  • The act’s subsidies are poorly targeted andoverly generous.
  • The Massachusetts Health Care Connector,which restructures the individual and smallbusiness insurance markets, is a form ofmanaged competition that has the potentialto severely limit consumer choice.
  • The act imposes new burdens on businessand creates a host of new governmentbureaucracies to manage the health caresystem.

Health care needs more consumer controland freer markets, not more government regulation,controls, and subsidies. The Massachusettsreform takes us in the wrong direction.