Covering the Uninsured: Costs, Benefits, and Policy Alternatives for New England
On December 5, 2006, the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston convened a policy symposium, “Covering the Uninsured: Costs, Benefits, and Policy Alternatives for New England.” As a growing number of Americans find themselves without health insurance, New England states are exploring innovative policies aimed at extending coverage. But the high cost of expanding coverage raises difficult questions about how best to improve access while preserving individual choice and maintaining quality of care.
The conference, which brought together a select group of stakeholders from all six New England states as well as representatives from national organizations, featured lively discussion and debate about the merits of various policy altsernatives and funding mechanisms. Differing viewpoints among policymakers, insurers, doctors, hospital administrators, employers, public health advocates, and health policy researchers provided a frank and productive dialogue throughout the day. This report is a synthesis of the conference’s major themes.