OK, I haven’t had a chance to read more than the Conference Committee PowerPoint pdf for the health care bill, which is a cheery summary. But the pro-health care reform ACT! coalition has urged the legislature to sign the bill. Here’s their summary, also in John McDonough’s post:
Key positive conclusions:
1. The legislation will create a massive expansion in affordable insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured MA residents;
2. It will restore coverage and benefits for many thousands of MassHealth eligibles and enrollees who have lost it over the past four years, including adult dental services for 600,000 low income adults (120,000 of whom are poor seniors, and 180,000 of whom are disabled).
3. It will create new mechanisms that can result in more affordable insurance options for workers and small businesses.
4. It will address the issue of health providers facing unaffordable rates for their MassHealth enrollees.
5. It establishes a clear principle that employers with 11+ workers have an obligation to contribute something — albeit not a lot — to the health coverage needs of their workers.
6. The legislation creates greater fairness among hospitals and provides specific protections going forward for key safety net institutions.
1. The level of employer responsibility is minimal, and does not come close to the cost borne by employers who do cover their workers.
2. The bill leaves in place the unfair $160 million assessment on employers who do cover their workers.
3. The individual mandate does not define clear affordability standards for when workers would be penalized. This will be a vitally important standard moving forward.
I’m sure we’ll have more on this.