The Massachusetts plan to extend health insurance coverage to nearly all of the state's residents offers several lessons related to health reform, including the following: Bipartisan cooperation is possible; multiple policy mechanisms must be employed to achieve meaningful change; the starting point--in terms of the rate of uninsurance, the degree of insurance market regulation, and so on--matters; and implementation details are critical. In addition to these lessons, the authors argue that objective analysis and a comprehensive framework for evaluating alternative policy options are needed for similar reforms to be enacted elsewhere.
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