The Massachusetts health care insurance reform, informally known as Romneycare is a state law enacted in 2006. The law established a system to require individuals to obtain health insurance. The statute had several key provisions: the creation of the Health Connector, establishment of the subsidized Commonwealth Care Health Insurance Program, the employer Fair Share Contribution and Free Rider Surcharge and a requirement that each individual must show evidence of coverage on their income tax return or face a penalty. The legislation included a merger of the individual market into the small group market to allow individuals to get lower group insurance rates. (Wikipedia)
The reform sought to address major issues in the current health care act of Massachusetts. One of the major issues the reform sought to address was individuals lacking insurance using emergency rooms as their primary source of care. The issue arose from the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) of 1986. EMTALA requires hospitals and ambulances to provide care to anyone in need of treatment. As a result of EMTALA hospitals across the country face unpaid bills and emergency visit decreases. In Massachusetts, a pool of over $1 billion in 2004/2005, funded by tax was used to partially reimburse hospitals. The Massachusetts health care reform was an answer to the problem. (Wikipedia)
In 2004, political leaders began advocating major reforms of the Massachusetts health care insurance system to expand coverage. Massachusetts launched its healthcare reform initiative in 2006 based on the principle of shared responsibility among individuals, government and businesses. Building on the existing system the state expanded its Medicaid program, created a new subsidized program through a health insurance exchange and required employers not offering insurance to help finance government subsidizes. The political climate enabled reform with bipartisan efforts from Governor Mitt Romney and a majority Democratic legislature. (NCBI)
The implementation of healthcare insurance reform began in June 2006, with the appointment of members of the Connector board and the naming of Jon Kingsdale, a...