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How do MA residents feel about health reform?

February 21, 2012

It’s a point of discussion in the presidential primary debates and even in casual conversation- “Oh they did that health reform thing in Massachusetts and everyone hates it.”

Is that true? How do members of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts really feel about their state’s health care overhaul?

Well, according to this story by Martha Bebinger (former WRNI reporter!) most folks in MA actually like the new system.

Bebinger bases her story off of a recent poll by WBUR which shows 62% of residents support MA’s health overhaul and 33% oppose it. All star pollster from Harvard, Robert Blendon, says people outside the state struggle to believe that’s possible-

“A substantial share of Americans believe that the national law will fail and they assume that the Massachusetts law, which in their minds is related to this, is not working well either,” Blendon said.

That’s the case, said Blendon, even when he presents evidence to audiences outside Massachusetts that a strong majority of residents in the Commonwealth are happy with the state law.

“People are convinced,” laughed Blendon, that “[the poll] can’t be right.”

Most of the residents in the poll also believed that Mitt Romney, former Governor and architect of MA’s health reform, is opposed to the nation’s health care overhaul for political, not philosophical reasons.

In Massachusetts, most residents in the WBUR poll (68 percent), see former Governor Mitt Romney’s opposition to the national law as an effort to win votes in his presidential campaign. Only 25% see his opposition as a disagreement based on principle.

Will this be the case when we see the full effect of national health care reform? The demographics of Massachusetts don’t exactly reflect the political diversity of the rest of the country. No one could confuse Boston with Anchorage, Alaska. But then again, in the early days of Medicare, some folks called heath care for seniors a terrible socialist plot. Let’s see what happens after 2014.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Bruce McIntyre permalink
    February 21, 2012 7:22 pm

    I am aways facinated by this debate. Status quo proponents are constantly bashing the “socialist” Canadian Health Care System. Candidates for national office frequently and loudly bash the Massachusetts “Romneycare” system. The fact is Canadians LOVE their health care system. Massachusetts residents overwhelmingly like theirs. And MA maintains many internationally renowed hospitals and doctors are actually paid well in Massachusetts. The thing that is bankrupting US companies, pension systems and states and municipalities is the current system. You know, the status quo. When it come to health and wellness outcomes, we are hovering somewhere next to Nigeria.
    The argument for the status quo does not really add up.

    • February 22, 2012 11:05 am

      Thanks for writing Bruce. Do you think people are just afraid of change?

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