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“It is not sur­pris­ing that par­ti­sans from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum are us­ing the Mas­sachusetts health-re­form law to make their points. ... Opin­ion and anec­dotes are run­ning way ahead of the facts. For in­stance: Have you heard that the gov­ern­ment has taken over health­care in Mas­sachusetts? Well, that’s false. More than 80% of res­i­dents who are not el­derly have pri­vate in­surance, and 76% of em­ploy­ers of­fer cov­er­age to their work­ers ... Or that newly in­sured res­i­dents can’t find doc­tors? Also false. Ev­ery­one en­rolled in the new sub­si­dized plan for low-in­come res­i­dents be­longs to a pri­vate health plan and has ac­cess to pri­mary-care physi­cians. ... Not ev­ery­thing is work­ing as planned, of course, but one thing is cer­tain: Our state is far bet­ter off now that ac­cess to re­li­able cov­er­age no longer de­pends on a per­son’s job, in­come or health sta­tus. Less than 2% of Mas­sachusetts res­i­dents are unin­sured. ... So, if Mas­sachusetts has been a lab­o­ra­tory for cov­er­ing the unin­sured, the ex­per­i­ment is work­ing quite well.” —Mas­sachusetts Blue Cross and Blue Shield Pres­i­dent and CEO Andrew Drey­fus and Stu­art Rosen­berg, pres­i­dent of Beth Is­rael Deaconess

Physi­cian Or­ga­ni­za­tion in the Wash­ing­ton­Post “Yet an­other lo­cal gov­ern­ment agency in Cal­i­for­nia is un­der fire for the seem­ingly out­sized com­pen­sa­tion paid to one of its em­ploy­ees. This time the spot­light is on the Sali­nas Val­ley Me­mo­rial Health­care Sys­tem and its re­cently re­tired chief ex­ec­u­tive, Sa­muel Down­ing. The con­tro­versy isn’t Down­ing’s $150,000 an­nual pen­sion as much as the $3.9 mil­lion in sup­ple­men­tal re­tire­ment ben­e­fits awarded by the health­care sys­tem’s board. Down­ing’s em­ploy­ers de­fended the sup­ple­men­tal pay­ments, say­ing that con­sul­tants found them to be in line with what ‘com­pa­ra­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions’ pay. But ... Down­ing’s pack­age was far more gen­er­ous than those promised to ad­min­is­tra­tors of sev­eral larger pub­lic hos­pi­tals. ... They have to com­pete with the pri­vate sec­tor to at­tract and keep tal­ented ad­min­is­tra­tors. … Pub­lic agen­cies must bal­ance the need to at­tract ca­pa­ble peo­ple against the rest of their fund­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as well as the risk of pro­vok­ing pub­lic re­sent­ment. The lengths the board went to in pad­ding Down­ing’s re­tire­ment even as the hos­pi­tal’s for­tunes were de­clin­ing and the state’s econ­omy was founder­ing up­set that bal­ance.”

—LosAngelesTimes

“It is not sur­pris­ing that par­ti­sans from across the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum are us­ing the Mas­sachusetts health-re­form law to make their points.”

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