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National Reform Will Boost Local Efforts

WBUR's Monica Brady-Myerov reports on what impact national health reform might have on Massachusetts. The answer: not much for consumers, however, it would bolster local efforts at health reform already underway.

Jon Kingsdale, head of the Mass. Health Insurance Connector Authority, tells WBUR that the federal health overhaul will mean more money for the Bay State:

Federal reform delivers more money to the state for health care. Most importantly, Massachusetts will receive $2 billion in Medicaid assistance over 10 years.

Until now, Massachusetts has needed to frequently go begging to the federal government, said Jon Kingsdale, of the Connector Authority — the agency that oversees the state’s mandated health insurance.

“We will not have to continue to go hat-in-hand to Washington every three years to get special permission from them for the matching federal support that we have for some of the programs that national health reform will begin to fund in 2014,” Kingsdale said.

Under the federal plan, more low-income residents will qualify for insurance subsidies and the federal government will pay for health insurance for legal immigrants. The state currently does that on its own. And small businesses will get more tax breaks to offer coverage to employees.

This program aired on March 23, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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