Today in Boston by Ethan Underhill: 4/12/2006 — The Reform ⛑

Strap in, trolls. We’re doin’ health care.

Today in Boston, 2006, then-Governor Willard “Will-He-Or-Won’t-He?” “Mitt” Romney signed into law the Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care, otherwise known as Chapter 58.

What was Chapter 58 designed to do? 🤔

The answer to that question depends on which dark corner of the internet you’d like to spend 3-5 business days in, but let’s defy gravity here and trust that politicians just wanted to chip away at the staggering figure of 500,000 Bay Staters without health insurance.

This made Massachusetts the first state to require each of its citizens to have health insurance, which, depending on how you lean, can mean that it was:

  • A practical business-based calculation (like @mittromney said it was);
  • A recognition of healthcare as a human right (like Ted Kennedy said it was); or,
  • Yet another act of Taxachusetts tyranny (like lots of legislators who already enjoyed a low-cost, highly effective insurance program said it was).

At the sake of boiling a nuanced piece of legislation down to a caption #toolate, Chapter 58:

  • Expanded Medicaid;
  • Established the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector to act as the public’s broker;
  • Reformed the market to reduce premiums; and controversially,
  • Required all companies with more than 10 full-time employees to cover everyone.

Now, after Chapter 58 passed the all-Democratic State Legislature, Republican Mitt vetoed 8 key sections of the law before signing. These sections became a major piece of his presidential campaign’s strategy to “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act in 2012, to which @BarackObama, said, “Wait, didn’t you invent this?”

13 years later, Massachusetts healthcare reform remains an imperfect solution. As of last fall, individual healthcare spending here was still growing at a rate of 1.6% as overall costs came to $61.1 billion.

But rate of costs has slowed and the vast majority of Bay Staters are now covered. That’s also the case for the country under the Affordable Care Act.

Be the first to comment