Health Reform Hospitals

Effect of Massachusetts Health Reform on Hospital and Preventive Care

Kolstad and Kowalski (2010) examine how the Massachusetts individual mandate affected uninsurance rates, hospital and outpatient utilization, and preventive care:

Among the population discharged from the hospital in Massachusetts, the reform decreased uninsurance by 28% relative to its initial level. Increased coverage affected utilization patterns by decreasing length of stay and the number of inpatient admissions originating from the emergency room. We also find evidence that outpatient care reduced hospitalizations for preventable conditions. At the same time we find no evidence that the cost of hospital care increased.


  1. Huh?

    1. Massachusetts residents have always been well insured. All Romneycare (i.e., giving away free insurance) did was move the needle from 94% to 97% coverage. Saying that there was 28% “decreased uninsurance” is an incredible way of saying the same thing.

    2. As for finding no evidence “that the cost of hospital care” increased, tell the scholars to go to the Attorney General’s web site. Or just google “healthcare costs” and “Massachusetts.”

    Do you or they have an agenda perhaps, playing your games with the lives of us that have lost health insurance and doctors they like because of Obamacare.

    — Dennis Byron

  2. My wife and I are fined about $2400 each year by the state of Massachusetts for not buying health insurance. I’m almost 60, been layoff, and jobs are hard to find. We live basically off our savings and investments and always paid our own medical costs; but, since receiving the fines our family budget is now out of balance, I‘ve had to reduced my insulin shots to save money; this will eventually lead to kidney failure. The state is literally killing me with there fine. I’m being fined for being responsible and paying my own medical bills. If the fines continue and get bigger we plan on moving out of the state when I retire to save money; my pension will follow me and the state will loose out on our income tax revenue. Being fined for living? Being fined for not buying a financial product? I love the people of MA but hate its insensitive no-it-all politicians.

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