Entries by Joshua Archambault

Op-ed: Health fee pinches taxpayers

Read this op-ed in the Boston Herald (September 4, 2016). Sometimes the Affordable Care Act (ACA) seems like part of history. While headlines about implementation pains persist, many changes are taking place under the radar. One such change that has received almost no attention is a new fee on Medicaid, called MassHealth in Massachusetts. The ACA […]

Boston Herald: To-do List for New Governor to Fix Health Site

By Josh Archambault and Eric Dahlberg. This op-ed originally appeared in the Boston Herald on Nov. 7, 2014. Our state health insurance exchange’s failed website will be one of the major headaches that Charlie Baker’s administration will inherit. Massachusetts’ first-in-the-nation Health Connector site, launched in 2006, has been out of service since Oct. 1, 2013, […]

Deval’s Big Dig: Responding to the Governor on Connector Report

When we talk about the Big Dig, we talk in big, round numbers. Why?  Because it cost gobs of money. You can debate whether it was worth it, and for years we did. Journalists dug into the story. Careers were dashed and fortunes were made in the process. We don’t distinguish between federal and state […]

Massachusetts to Default to Healthcare.gov, After Hail Mary to Save Its Exchange

Yesterday Massachusetts officials announced plans to default to Healthcare.gov, but also announced a quixotic sprint to try first try to rebuild the entire site in five months with a brand new, no-bid taxpayer-paid contract to health care software developer hCentive. This move comes eight months into open enrollment, after launching the worst performing exchange in […]

100+ Unanswered Questions about the Failed Connector ACA Website

As a result of the failed Connector website, 160,000 Massachusetts residents are on temporary public Medicaid coverage even though they don’t qualify for MassHealth. Failure at the Connector will cost Massachusetts taxpayers over $100 million dollars this year. So, Pioneer has questions about how Massachusetts went from having a well-functioning Exchange to one of the […]

Fall River Herald News: Guest Opinion: Mass. Health Care Connector’s failures show disconnect of ACA exchanges

By Josh Archambault Date: April 10, 2014 Read it here. Seven months after open enrollment began under the Affordable Care Act, Massachusetts’ online health insurance exchange doesn’t work, and the state government is just firing the primary contractor CGI, without a final plan for how to fix it. Since we can’t change the past, the […]

Mass Connector Called Before Congress To Explain Failed Rollout

Chris Cassidy at the Boston Herald is reporting that Jean Yang, the executive director of the Massachusetts Health Connector, will be called before two Congressional committees to explain the failings of the exchange under the ACA on Thursday April 3rd at 10am. It should be noted that Yang will be the only executive director who […]

ACA Spiking Premiums in Massachusetts, More Than 300 Cancellations of Plans

The Patrick Administration has been publicly touting that health care premiums are only going to go up 2% this year in the Commonwealth. However the anecdotal evidence fails to back up that assessment, and in a future post I will explain the intentionally misleading nature of that number. In short, the Division of Insurance asked […]

General Court Silent On Connector Meltdown: Connector Playing Whac-A-Mole With Enrollment

Due to poor project management and failing IT contractors, the Connector has been forced into a very expensive game of whac-a-mole for enrollment under the ACA. Even after a tense Connector Board meeting last week, what remains unclear is how quickly the IT issues will be resolved, how much it will cost taxpayers, and why […]

One Small Step Toward Consumer-Oriented Reform in Massachusetts Healthcare

Last week a little noticed but highly significant healthcare policy decision was made in the Commonwealth, and Pioneer Institute is proud to have been a long-time advocate for this consumer-friendly reform. Building on our research on the low cost, high-quaity care that can be offered at convenient care/limited service clinics, the state moved to allow more basic […]

“Barrier-Free Care”: An Idea That Should Hit the Wall in Committee

House Bill 2084, “An Act Relative to Keep People Healthy By Removing Barriers to Cost-effective Care,” joins the list of well-intentioned, but ill-conceived healthcare reform ideas in Massachusetts. No one likes paying money when they visit the doctor, and certainly those with chronic conditions should be able to receive the care they need, but is […]

In Pictures: 15 Facts Pres. Obama Needs To Know About Mass.’s Healthcare Reform

During President Obama’s Boston visit to talk about the ACA and the Massachusetts experiment, it is important to remember some context. Here are a few pictures that help to illustrate the successes and failures of Mass reform. However, caution should be used when expecting the same results under the two laws, since the laws are […]

ACA Comes to Massachusetts: Post #1: 40% Premium Increase and Higher Co-pays On the Connector

Paul Levy has a compelling post over at his must-read blog, Not Running a Hospital. It will serve as the first post in an occasional, but ongoing, series documenting what the real impact of the ACA means in Massachusetts. For the last three years, our state leaders have been promising that the ACA will mean only […]

More Americans In 3 States Have Had Their Insurance Canceled Under ObamaCare Than Have Filed An Exchange Account In All 50

This week the reality of the ObamaCare roll-out appeared in a set of news stories that serve as an ironic juxtaposition. Over 500,000 individuals have seen their insurance policies cancelled in just 3 states.  In all 50 states, only 476,000 applications have been “filed” in an exchange. (Even though we are still learning the true […]

Mass Health Connector 2.0: Limited Function and Unable to Provide Subsidy and Medicaid Information

The Health Connector has spent the last 3 years telling everyone how great the new “Health Connector 2.0” will be. The state has  received $180 million to change the tires on health reform in the state, yet during week one of open enrollment…There were messages like this on Twitter: According to The New York Times, […]

Will ACA Cause Rate Shock in Massachusetts? It Appears So, Small Biz To See Premiums Rise Up to 97%

Conventional wisdom has held that the ACA impact on Massachusetts will be small. Some high profile academics have gone as far as to attack presidential candidates with colorful language if they suggest otherwise. Well, the conventional wisdom has had a nuclear bomb dropped on its head with the release of an independent analysis by the major insurance companies in […]

Promising State “Duals” Pilot (One Care), Late and Losing Carriers

Pioneer has long advocated for reforming the way that healthcare is delivered to those on both Medicaid and Medicare. In fact the idea won the 2012 Better Government Competition. Winners of the 2012 Better Government Competition from Mike Dean on Vimeo. This morning State House News Service reported that the state has finalized agreements with […]

10 Questions About ACA/Obamacare Implementation in Massachusetts That Need to be Answered

1.      Why is Massachusetts giving the federal government a free pass to overtake the states right to regulate our insurance marketplace? For an example, see the ongoing saga over rating factors changes, under which 60% of small companies will experience premium increases. Bob Dylan singing  The Times They Are a-Changin’ 2.      Why is Massachusetts letting […]

ACA Premium Roller Coaster for Small Business Coming to Massachusetts

A handful of owners of small companies in the Commonwealth have recently shared with me their deep sense of uncertainty and apprehension about what the ACA will mean for their health insurance premiums. They finally realized that local politicians were not telling the whole story when delivering speeches highlighting some of the similarities between RomneyCare […]

Update and Public Statement on Continued Lack of Transparency on the Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Massachusetts

The following is a statement from Pioneer Institute executive director Jim Stergios: “Massachusetts business owners need to be able to plan, and that means they need to have some idea about the future cost of their healthcare premiums. The fact is, state officials have information about the potential economic impact of the Affordable Care Act […]

Boston Herald: Gov owes Obamacare diagnosi$

Op-Ed by Mary Connaughton & Josh Archambault Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Think because you live in Massachusetts you’re protected from the Obamacare insurance premium spikes that you have seen in the national news? Think again, especially if you work at a small company. Ineffective cash-flow management is the No. 1 cause of business failure and layoffs. […]

Oregon Medicaid Results: Half Full or Missing the Point?

Much as been written this past week about the second year results of the Oregon Medicaid lottery experiment. (See Avik Roy’s post at Forbes for a clear and full background.) I believe the results from this study will drive many future decisions about Medicaid and how it is structured given the methodological uniqueness of the program. While the […]

ACA’s Alice in Wonderland Twist: HHS Unilateral Delay of Regulations

A recent decision by HHS illustrates the arbitrary nature by which some implementation decisions are being made at CMS while highlighting the problem of a top-down approach in Obamacare. After months of small businesses anxiety in surrounding the impact of fewer rating factors due to an ACA mandated one-size-fits all policy, the Federal government recently […]

Will Mass Unmerge Insurance Marketplace Because of ACA?

I have written numerous times about the impact that the ACA will have on small businesses in Massachusetts, and the predicted “extreme premium increases.” According to a recent InsideHealthPolicy.com story, the state is discussing unmerging the individual and non-group markets to avoid this unintended consequence of the ACA. States had to let CMS’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance […]

As Federal Health Law Turns Three, We Should Leverage The Power of Federalism

As the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka ObamaCare) turns three this week, states and employers are feeling the weight and complexity of the early stages of implementation. Pioneer reflects on how the nation can best move forward. 5 recommendations to move ahead on health reform: Respect the states.  The Obama administration should […]