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Will Mass. insurance cuts really save?

The cost of health care

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: If you have state-subsidized health insurance,
this is a tough time to lose it. That is what's happening to thousands of legal immigrants
in Massachusetts. The move is supposed to save the state millions of dollars. Reporter Joel Rose says, not everybody thinks it will.


Joel Rose: Massachusetts officials say they'll still be able to pay for emergency care and a handful of other services. But for the most part, 30,000 legal immigrants will find themselves without insurance come next month. Franklin Soults is with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.

Franklin Soults: They're getting letters right now in the mail that's telling them starting September 1st, they're no longer receiving health care insurance. So they'll just sort of fall through the cracks.

Massachusetts lawmakers decided to cut $90 million from subsidized care for recent immigrants in order to help close a massive budget deficit. But Brian Rosman of the non-profit Health Care for All questions how much those cuts will really save.

Brian Rosman: What it's going to mean is a lot more uncompensated care: people going to hospitals, often emergency rooms, which are the most expensive places to get care.

Ultimately, Rosman says the cost of care will be passed on to hospitals and taxpayers, in the form of higher insurance premiums.

I'm Joel Rose, for Marketplace.

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