username: pass: Create account?
NECN Logo

32°

Few Clouds

Thu
Condition Icon
36°/41°F
Fri
Condition Icon
39°/46°F
Sat
Condition Icon
39°/58°F
Sun
Condition Icon
37°/53°F
SEARCH NECN.com

Anniversary of universal health care in Mass.

Apr 11, 2011 6:00pm
Comments(0)
Email
Print
Facebook
RSS

To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.


(NECN: Eileen Curran, Boston) - The state of Massachusetts threw a birthday party Monday, complete with candles and a cake, for the fifth anniversary of the landmark universal healthcare law.  State and healthcare officials gathered at the Dorchester House community health center in Boston to tout the success of the law.
 
"There is no denying the success when you have 98 percent of Massachusetts residents insured," said Susan Servaise, Executive Director of the non-partisan group, Mass Health Council.
 
Supporters say health care reform has not only helped hundreds of thousands of uninsured people get coverage and access to health care, it also has improved the system, reducing emergency room visits by twenty percent.

But is the landmark law breaking the budget?

Michael Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation said no.
 
"We've done analysis over last five years and concluded that there's been some additional cost out of the state budget, but it's been marginal," said Widmer.  He added, "Rarely has there been a piece of legislation such as this scope, that has worked as well as this has."
 
Widmer said when the law was first enacted, so many people signed up there was a real panic the cost of the program might explode, but, over the years, the number of people enrolling has leveled off and the cost explosion never happened.
 
Five years ago, A democratic legislature passed the law and a republican governor, Mitt Romney, signed it.  Romney was invited to Monday's birthday celebration, but didn't attend, something the current governor doesn't understand.
 
"I can't understand why anybody who was so central to moving a transformative piece of legislation like this wouldn't be proud of it," said Governor Deval Patrick, (D) Massachusetts.
 
Lynn Rhenisch of Boston is proud of it, and grateful for it.  She suffered with a chronic illness for fifteen years because she didn't have health insurance. Six months after getting coverage because of the law, a doctor was able to diagnose her illness and she is much better today.
 
"To get back on medical insurance and to be able to begin to go back after this problem was an enormous relief," said Rhenisch.
 
While supporters are celebrating the success of the law, they know it is expensive. They say controlling the cost of health care is their next goal.
Your Comments
NEW ON NECN.com
NEW ENGLAND
NATION/WORLD
POLITICS
SPORTS
From CSNNE.com
BUSINESS
HEALTH
ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT
SCI-TECH
LATEST FORECAST
Tonight's forecast: Clear, cool
New England's Thursday will be mostly sunny
MONDAYS: YOUR HOME PROJECTS, FIXED!
TUESDAYS: YOU AND YOUR ANIMALS
WEDNESDAYS: YOUR HEALTH, IN FOCUS
THURSDAYS: A BETTER YOU
FRIDAYS: FASHION AND FITNESS
LOCAL MUSIC EVERY MORNING
mr_food_rail.png
WHAT'S ON NECN NOW