Massachusetts Physicians Give a Thumbs Up to Mandatory Healthcare Insurance

Massachusetts Physicians Give a Thumbs Up to Mandatory Healthcare InsuranceAs Massachusetts begins its fourth year under a law that requires almost every citizen to have healthcare insurance – only three percent are not insured, the lowest rate in the nation – let’s look at how mandatory coverage is working in the Bay State.  Although critics claim it costs too much and creates too many newly insured patients, the fact remains that a majority of the state’s physicians think the program is succeeding and strongly support it.

A case in point is primary-care physician Dr. Phil Treffletti, whose practice is in Chelsea, MA, a working-class town just north of Boston.  Addressing the critics who claim that accessibility to physicians is an issue, new patients wait an average of just three weeks for an appointment with Dr. Treffletti.  “It’s certainly nicer for me to be able to be available to more patients in my community.  I can’t say that we’ve been swamped or overwhelmed,” Treffletti said.

A poll conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine backs up Dr. Treffletti’s opinion.  The poll showed that 70 percent of the state’s physicians favor the law and overwhelmingly want it continued.  Earlier polls have found that while the state’s residents like the mandatory insurance law, Massachusetts physicians are even more supportive.

According to Dr. Robert Blendon, Harvard Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis who conducted the poll, “They were just quite impressed, both in their own practice and statewide, that the uninsured problem has essentially disappeared from their lives.”

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