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Study: Mass. Health Law Has Harmed State Economy

(jasleen_kaur/flickr)

(jasleen_kaur/flickr)

It was back in 2006 when Massachusetts passed its landmark health care reform law, but even know, five years later, there’s still plenty of talk about whether the plan was right for the Bay State and about whether residents can even afford it.

The debate has caused plenty of headaches for former Massachusetts governor, and presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney. It was his administration, after all, that approved the state’s health care reform law and his plan that would go on to serve as the basis for President Obama’s own health care reform package.

“It costs less than 1 percent per year of the state budget,” Romney said during a defense of the law in May, “and by the way, I think that’s too much.”

A new report out Thursday, however, paints a far less flattering picture. The report, from the conservative Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, found that the Romney plan has not only meant fewer jobs for Massachusetts, but also less investment in state businesses and less money in the pockets of residents.

The study found that health care reform has slowed the amount of investment in state businesses by as much as $29 million, causing Massachusetts to employ between 15,000 and 21,000 fewer people. That’s meant an average of $376 less in disposable income for state residents, according to the report.

“The health care law does not exist in a vacuum,” said David Tuerck, the executive director of the Beacon Hill Institute. “The ‘shared sacrifice’ needed to provide universal health care includes a net loss of jobs, which is attributable to the higher costs that the measure imposed.”

Guests:

  • David Tuerck, executive director, Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University
  • Brian Rosman, research director, Health Care For All

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