While some have seen the Massachusetts universal health care experience thus far as an experiment that can’t really be exported (see Boston Globe article from last April, just after passage of the law), it seems the local experiment has gotten a fair amount of attention and has triggered proposals in a number of other states.
The two most recent are California and Pennsylvania. Dr. Mark Smith, president and CEO of the California HealthCare Foundation and Dr. Stuart Altman, director, Institute for Health Policy, The Heller School, Brandeis University discussed this phenomenon on NPR a couple of weeks ago, and we will hear from the president on the issue of expanding health care coverage as part of his State of the Union address tomorrow night. (See preview of this point in the NY Times.)
While the conventional wisdom a few months ago was that health care ranked a distant third or fourth, at best, among issues important to the electorate, it seems to be top-of-mind for many elected officials right now.