Local state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez recently spoke in Washington, D.C. as an expert in Massachusetts’ pioneering health care reform system.
Sánchez spoke two weeks ago before the National Conference of State Legislatures about the Massachusetts health care program in light of the ongoing implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act.
“Massachusetts is at the forefront of health care reform,” Sánchez said in a recent Gazette interview.
In 2006, Massachusetts created a pioneering system that required individuals and larger businesses to purchase health insurance and expanded subsidized coverage for low-income people. The system is a partial model for the federal Affordable Care Act.
The representative said he focused on talking about how Massachusetts deals people who have serious developmental disabilities and need long-term care. He said these people have no mobility and have difficulty feeding themselves. Sánchez said Massachusetts has found a way to pay for their care by mixing funding from Medicaid and Medicare.
“In the long term, this will reduce costs,” he said, noting that is because people will be receiving the care they need.
Sánchez said some legislators at the conference are “completely against the Affordable Care Act,” but everyone was respectful. He said it was a “great event,” especially because he had his own viewpoint challenged.