You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Massachusetts Miracle or Massachusetts Mess?

If health care reform becomes law, the system it creates nationally will probably look a lot like the system now up and running in Massachusetts. In an article that appears in the current print edition of TNR, I suggest that's largely a good thing. The Massachusetts experiment is hardly perfect. But it's put health care within reach of more people and laid the groundwork for more sweeping changes that might improve the efficiency (and control the costs) of medical care overall.

Many knowledgeable people disagree. Trudy Lieberman, who's been covering health care for longer than I have, did a long series for Columbia Journalism Review, chronicling the law's many shortcomings. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein, who practice medicine in Massachusetts and co-founded Physicians for a National Health Plan, have written skeptically about the reforms. So has Diane Archer, who is director of the Health Care Project at the Institute for America's Future and the founder and past president of the Medicare Rights Center. 

As I say in the article, I happen to think many of their criticisms are correct, even if I don't share their verdict that the reforms, overall, have been a failure. And while the constraints of the print magazine prevented me from discussing their arguments at length, I hope to discuss some of them up in the next few days, time permitting.

In the meantime, if you're interested in learning more about Massachusetts--and hearing out the strongest criticisms--check the links above.