Massachusetts voters in November narrowly defeated a sweeping measure that would have stopped all conversions of nonprofit hospitals and health plans until the state created a system guaranteeing comprehensive, high quality health care coverage, but the concept lives on. Some details in the defeated referendum may not survivesuch as banning financial incentives to curb patient care and insisting that 90 cents of each premium dollar be spent on actual carebut a business-heavy state task force is still pursuing the goal of coverage for every resident. "What we're trying to do now is get the private marketplace and legislators and regulators to be more creative," explains task force member Susan Connolly, a consultant with the William M. Mercer office in Boston. The group may back low-cost, limited-network policiesnot at all in the established Massachusetts stylethat, for instance, would not include access to teaching hospitals. And it is focusing on how to get younger workers, especially males, to sign up for policies that are already available to them.
Daniel Moskowitz. Massachusetts plugs away at universal coverage. Business and Health 2001;1:15.