October 31, 2000
Health-Care Reform Would Leave Massachusetts Ailing
proposal to enact comprehensive, high quality health-care coverage
for all Massachusetts residents would inflict substantial costs
on the state economy, destroying as many as 305,133 jobs and forcing
the state to more than double the personal income tax. This is the finding
of a new analysis by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University.
proposal, which appears as Question 5 on the November 7 Massachusetts
ballot, is unclear about just how it is to be implemented. BHI has identified
the options available to policy makers and estimated the costs associated
A single-payer system. This would impose the heaviest burden,
raising the state income tax to 13.76% in 2002 from its then
current level of 5.75%. This huge increase would, in turn, destroy
305,133 jobs and reduce payrolls by $11.405 billion.
A 50% subsidy for insurance policies for all who are currently
uninsured. This would require an increase in the income tax to
6.30%, destroy 57,310 jobs and reduce payrolls by $4.189 billion.
employer mandate, sometimes referred to as a pay or
play system. This would destroy 33,883 jobs and reduce payrolls
by $3.407 billion. Labor costs would rise by .345%, and the state
income tax would rise to 5.97%.
least expensive option would be for the Commonwealth to provide insurance
for the high-risk pool of those who are uninsurable, that small
segment of the population (about 0.5%) that cannot get health insurance
at any price. The $285.1 million cost to the state would require an
increase in the income tax to 5.95%, which in turn would destroy 20,437
jobs and reduce payrolls by $1.494 billion.
found that the Patients Bill of Rights provided for by Question 5
would, in addition and when combined with the Employer Mandate option,
raise premium costs by at least 4.8% and in the process destroy 31,301
jobs and reduce payrolls by $2.883 billion annually.
David Tuerck, BHI Executive Director, Massachusetts could provide
health care for the hardest to insure by creating a high-risk pool,
an option that imposes manageably small costs on the state economy.
Unfortunately, considering the vagueness with which it is worded, Question
5 leaves open the possibility indeed the likelihood that
a far more comprehensive and costly option would be enacted.
Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University is a nonprofit, nonpartisan
economic research organization.
FaxSheet: Proposals for Universal Health
Care in Massachusetts: Do they Exceed the Recommended Dosage?
09-Feb-2007 5:33 PM
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