States consider insurance reform

Inspired by the healthcare reform effort in Massachusetts, a number of states are attempting similar free-market approaches to providing healthcare coverage to their uninsured citizens. Lawmakers in New York, Wisconsin and Washington are all weighing similar experiments, The Wall Street Journal reports. Amy Lischko, the commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, tells the paper she has been contacted by officials from at least 12 states. "All of their governors were telling them: Look at Massachusetts's bill and see if there's anything applicable," she says. "It reinvigorated the discussion."

A great deal of attention has been paid to the impact of the Massachusetts plan on the uninsured--which will obviously be enormous. Far less has been paid to how much the trend could end up helping hospitals by reducing the levels of uncompensated care they are forced to provide. It's sobering to think of the impact a similar law could have in the New York or California markets.

- read this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)