Publications: Health Care

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  • February 15 2011

    The 50 largest cities and towns in Massachusetts face a crushing $20 billion liability for retiree health care benefits that threatens to wreak havoc with local government services, according to a new report released today by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

    The report, Retiree Health Care: The Brick That Broke Municipalities’ Backs, is the first analysis of municipal retiree health care liabilities in Massachusetts. The $20 billion represents what these governments must pay in today’s dollars for the lifetime health care benefits already earned by 150,000 current employees and retirees in the 50 communities.

  • August 18 2010
    The Foundation calls on legislators and candidates to address the unsustainable increase in municipal costs of health care and pensions that are leading to layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters and recommends a series of changes that would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually in the short term growing to billions by 2020.
  • June 9 2010
    In a letter to conferees, the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation urges legislators to reject the Senate proposal to address the issue of soaring municipal health care costs and take decisive action to provide municipal relief. Cities and towns should have unfettered powers over health plan design, consistent with the state, in order to protect municipal jobs and services.
  • March 17 2010

    Controlling health care costs is a hugely complicated undertaking. In our collective frustration with the complexity of the challenge, let's not take actions that will only make the problem worse. Arbitrary price controls have a superficial appeal, but the economic and other consequences could be far-reaching and permanent.

  • October 27 2009
    A special section on health care in the Wall Street Journal of October 27, 2009 included two opinion pieces debating the merits of Massachusetts' health reform law, with MTF President Michael J. Widmer describing the law's success at achieving near universal health insurance coverage. Despite the efforts of ideologues, academics and politicians to discredit the reform, the facts tell the story of the law's enormous accomplishments.
  • July 23 2009
    Despite claims to the contrary, the Foundation's recently released analysis of the costs to taxpayers of achieving near-universal access to health care showed that the average yearly increase was only $88 million, well within original estimates. Because of health reform, employee-sponsored enrollment has grown by 150,000 and individuals private coverage by 40,000 adding at least $750 million in costs to Massachusetts employers. Critics ignore the fact that the fundamental problem is not the costs of Commonwealth Care but rather the unprecedented collapse of state tax revenues.
  • May 2009

    Despite a public perception that the state's landmark health care reform law has turned out to be unaffordable, a new analysis by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation finds that the cost to taxpayers of achieving near universal coverage has been relatively modest and well within initial projections of how much the state would have to spend to implement reform, in part because many of the newly insured have enrolled in employer-sponsored plans at no public expense.  

    The Foundation report concludes that state spending on the reform has increased by $350 million between fiscal 2006, the last year before reform, and fiscal 2010 - an average annual increase of only $88 million. 

  • March 30 2009
    The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation unveiled a blueprint for the MBTA to save more than $1 billion in spending on health benefits over the next 20 years. The report, MTF Recommendations: Saving $1 Billion in Unaffordable Health Care Costs at the MBTA, makes six recommendations to bring MBTA health benefits into line with those provided state employees and which could be implemented by July 1, 2009.
  • December 10 2008
    The cities and towns of Massachusetts are facing a relentless fiscal squeeze in which year after year costs are growing faster than revenues for almost all communities.
  • September 5 2008
    MTF urges the administration to withdraw proposed changes to the fair share formula - the changes ignore the enormous contributions of employers and threaten the future of health care reform by upsetting the balance of shared responsibility.