With the passage of the landmark 2006 healthcare reform law, Massachusetts has been successful in achieving near universal health insurance coverage, with more than 97% of adults and 99.5% of children now covered. The Commonwealth leads the nation in ensuring access to healthcare for its residents.
The goal of the 2012 healthcare reform law is in some ways even more ambitious and challenging: transforming our healthcare system from a focus on treating people when they are sick to a focus on keeping people healthy.
I believe we can achieve this goal and doing so will both improve the quality of care and reduce healthcare costs.
Under the new law, healthcare providers will be incentivized to practice the best possible care at a reasonable price, and consumers will be provided with the necessary information to actively participate in making personal healthcare decisions.
Over time, we will move away from the current "fee-for-service" healthcare system which rewards high-volume, expensive care that is not necessarily higher in quality.
I’m pleased that the new law includes my proposal for the establishment of a Massachusetts Prevention and Wellness Trust. This will help link public health and healthcare services into a comprehensive system to achieve a healthier population and reduce the incidence of preventable and costly chronic diseases.
A competitive grant program will enable municipalities, community hospitals, and other local organizations to implement proven strategies to address the most preventable and costly health conditions.
Massachusetts is once again leading the nation in providing a path forward for delivering high quality, affordable healthcare for all.