Obamacare and MassHealth – What do people think?
October 30th, 2013
05:20 PM ET
1 year ago

Obamacare and MassHealth – What do people think?

Boston (CNN) - What do folks in Massachusetts think of the state's mandatory medical care law, and more importantly what do they think of President Barack Obama using it as an example of what Obamacare will eventually look like?

Well, just like any political story, it depends on whom you ask.

Take Massachusetts resident Sara Penrod. She grew up in Alabama, and moved to the Bay State five years ago. Since she moved here, she joined the state's MassHealth program. That's the program that 2012 Republican presidential Mitt Romney signed into law last decade when he served as Massachusetts governor. It's the same program the President touted in a Wednesday visit to Boston as the model for the Affordable Care Act. The Massachusetts measure requires every state resident over 18 years old to have health insurance.

Penrod told CNN she is a fan of both the president's program, and MassHealth,

"In Alabama you can't get insurance unless you basically make no money." said Pernod, who told CNN she was invited to the President's event.

"I have a severe chronic illness that would cost me over $3000 a month just for the medication, so MassHealth really saved my life," Pernod added.

She said the program was easy to join, and she, "went online and printed up the application."

Deborah Berry, another Massachusetts resident, had a similar story.

"My MassHealth is wonderful, I mean I had open heart surgery and without that I wouldn't have been able to have it and as far as I'm concerned it's good," Berry said.

She added that the program covered all of her medical bills while she was hospitalized and, "my medication and checkups and dental and eyecare – it covered that for me."

Berry said she moved to Massachusetts from Memphis, Tennessee and did not have health insurance before she joined the state program.

"It was a pleasant experience," she said as she walked away.

However Kelly, from Worcester who declined to give her last name, told CNN she has her health insurance through her work. She says her premiums and co-pays have gone up, "every year."

When asked if she thought ObamaCare would help or hurt her health care premiums, she smiled and replied, "I think it's gonna cost us a little bit more."

She saud "Our co-pays have gone up like 15 dollars in the last few years, and our premiums have gone up like 40 or 50 [dollars] a month."

She added that her deductibles, "just keep going up too, yeah."

Business owner John Hoskins, who is visiting the Bay State from Buffalo, New York has a different take on the president's health care plan. He said the program is costing him and his employees three to six percent more for health care.

"It's a direct result of Obamacare, absolutely," said Hoskins.

When asked to explain how he knew the costs were because of the president's health care plan, he said, "We've had analysis from three different brokers, quotes from New York, North Carolina and Connecticut. In each state four different health care providers that we compare quotes for different packages so that we can offer our employees the most competitive care and you know – it doesn't matter which broker you talk to from which state, they all tell you the same thing that the range of cost increase is 3 to 6 percent per year. "

"This year being the first year 3 to 6 percent and we'll see how much it is in the coming years. But its definitely leading to health care cost increases," added Hoskins.

Hoskins said that despite the increases, he is, "committed to giving my employees the best possible benefit I can - regardless of Obamacare."


Filed under: Health care • Massachusetts • Obamacare
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    Give it a rest, CNN.

    Seriously.

    October 30, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    Do not worry, they will fix this Healthcare glitch. GOP is bunch of idiots to nag, brag for nothing. Absolutely it is a true-copy, duplicate of Romneycare. Do GOP al Queda know this? GOP is in doom. No fool will ever vote for these nation's number one thugs.

    October 30, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Obama.LIED.gov

    Seriously, we can't begin to compare them yet because as big as a disaster Obamacare has been to date, the worse is yet to come! You haven't seen ANYTHING yet people! This was the easy, freebie, feel good stuff. The real full fledged shafting of the American people is still to happen.

    And remember, the Democrats did this. Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Hillary Clinton supports it too. Remember this in 2014 & 2016. Remember how you were lied to over and over.

    October 30, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Wake up People!

    Thank you Lynda!!

    October 30, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Everyone is going to be paying more, except the millions Obama added to the medicaid rolls, of the poor, he knew could NOT pay.

    October 30, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. just asking

    Lynda/Minnesota
    Give it a rest, CNN.
    Seriously.
    --

    why? truth a bit too much to handle these days? or have you run out of koolaide?

    October 30, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Donna

    Rick McDaniel
    Everyone is going to be paying more, except the millions Obama added to the medicaid rolls, of the poor, he knew could NOT pay.
    -–

    Obama =
    hugely expanded food stamp rolls,
    hugely expanded disability rolls,
    hugely expanded Medicaid rolls,
    unemployment rolls at record highs for a record length of time,

    all costing working tax paying Americans money. Welcome to the new, fundamentally transformed America of Obama and the Democrats. Is it any wonder Pelosi and the Democrats are now demanding more and more taxes??? Even after getting trillions more in taxes already?

    October 30, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. michael

    Sometimes, now often it looks like CNN is becoming another FOXNEWS, of manufacturing controversy after controversy; one sound bite after another and slanted reporting but not full truth! Case in point! Repeating GOIP (garbage of America) talking points which delegitimize obamacare! Well, Romneycare and Medicare Part B and D rollout had numerous problems but democrats and repuglicans worked together to fix not nix the programs! Stoking flames of political theater incendiary rightwing extremist ideology is the latest media craze! I used to think only FOXNEWS lowered their sights, to validating, then retracting false claims, lies, distortions and scare tactics of GOP (garbage of America). America expects better! Americans Policies being canceled because they do not meet the litness test, of new regulatory standards and were substandard! CNN tell the truth!

    October 30, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "When asked to explain how he knew the costs were because of the president's health care plan, he said, "We've had analysis from three different brokers, quotes from New York, North Carolina and Connecticut. In each state four different health care providers that we compare quotes for different packages so that we can offer our employees the most competitive care and you know – it doesn't matter which broker you talk to from which state, they all tell you the same thing that the range of cost increase is 3 to 6 percent per year. "

    "This year being the first year 3 to 6 percent and we'll see how much it is in the coming years. But its definitely leading to health care cost increases," added Hoskins."

    In other words, he failed to answer the question and provided zero explanation of how he "knows" that there is a causal relationship between a 3%-6% increase in premium costs and the ACA...you know, in light of premium increases for the past decade ranging from similar to much worse and occurring 100% in the absence of the ACA. Whatever. Gotta sell the "balanced" story though, eh CNN?

    October 30, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. Me

    just asking

    Lynda/Minnesota
    Give it a rest, CNN.
    Seriously.
    -

    why? truth a bit too much to handle these days? or have you run out of koolaide?
    ______________________
    LOL, they are getting desperate these days!!

    October 30, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    I agree with Lynda/Minnesota but this glitch can and will be fixed but it's better than another screecher or Canadian story.
    What we can't fix it's sub humans like Rafael bin laden who is poor evil.
    @just asking, like your teaklan members continuing to bring up Benghazi, IRS, fast and furious and getting the results. They ARE lunatics.

    October 30, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  12. Steve- Illinois

    He should have hired Mitt Romney to co-ordinate it, at least then it would work.

    October 30, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. S. B. Stein

    If the GOP has a better plan other than people hope not to get sick, then let us hear it. My idea, if the goal is not to have the government do something about health care, is to have the top 2% pay into a non-profit medical insurance company that covers those that don't have for various reasons (poor, too many ailments that cost a lot, etc) that goes across the country. That is what the conservatives really need to do.

    October 30, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. buongiorno

    when all the game playing ends maybe some of us can get back to our personal lives because right now if this country doesnt get it act together AMERICA and its people will struggle 10X harder financially because of 17 Trillim dollar debt that the middle class and poor are supposed to shoulder along with their children their childrens children and many generations to come while other countries advance in science medicind health care ect,.

    October 30, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |