2) “Coverage” is not the same as actual medical care.
Supporters of the Massachusetts plan frequently claim that it is a success because 98% of the state’s residents are now “covered.” But this is misleading, because it conflates theoretical “coverage” with actual medical care. In fact, access to medical care has worsened for many Massachusetts residents.
Because the state-mandated health insurance is so expensive, the government must subsidize the costs for lower-income residents. In response, the state government has cut payments to doctors and hospitals. With such poor reimbursements, physicians have become increasingly reluctant to see new patients.
The Massachusetts Medical Society reports that 40% of family practice doctors and 56% of internal medicine physicians no longer accept new patients  -- “the highest percentages of primary care practices closed to new patients … ever recorded.”
Some patients in western Massachusetts must wait more than a year for a routine physical exam . Some desperate patients have even resorted to “group appointments, ” where the doctor sees several patients at once (without the privacy necessary to allow the physician to remove the patient’s clothing and perform a proper physical exam).
Similarly, the average waiting time in Boston to see a specialist has increased to seven weeks . In contrast, waiting times in comparable cities in other states have been decreasing and now average three weeks.
Massachusetts patients may have theoretical “coverage,” but that’s not the same as actual medical care.