March 1, 2010
THE MASSACHUSETTS "MODEL" MOVES TO PRICE CONTROLS
Natural experiments are rare in politics, but few are as instructive as the prototype for ObamaCare that Massachusetts set in motion in 2006. The bills for "universal coverage" are now coming due, and it appears the state political class is prepared to do lasting damage to one of America's top-flight health care systems, says the Wall Street Journal.
Last month, Democratic Governor Deval Patrick proposed hard price controls across almost all Massachusetts health care:
* State regulators already have the power to cap insurance premiums, which Patrick is activating.
* He also filed a bill that would give state regulators the power to review the rates of hospitals, physician groups and some specialty providers.
* Those that are deemed too high "shall be presumptively disapproved."
The administered prices of Medicare and Medicaid already shift costs to private patients while below-cost reimbursement creates balance-sheet havoc among providers. Now the governor wants to import these distortions to save the state's heavily subsidized insurance program as costs explode, says the Journal.
Ironically, former Governor Mitt Romney (like President Obama) sold this plan as a way to control spending. As with all new entitlements, the rolling cost crisis began almost immediately, says the Journal:
* For fiscal 2010 taxpayer costs are $47 million over budget, in part due to the recession, and while the $913 million Patrick requested for 2011 is a 5 percent increase over 2010, spending has grown on average 6.7 percent per year.
* Meanwhile, average Massachusetts insurance premiums are now the highest in the nation; since 2006, they've climbed at an annual rate of 30 percent in the individual market.
* Small business costs have increased by 5.8 percent.
* Per capita health spending in Massachusetts is now 27 percent higher than the national average, and 15 percent higher even after adjusting for local wages and academic research grants.
All of this is merely a preview of what the entire country will face if Democrats succeed with their plan to pound ObamaCare into law in anything like its current form. Massachusetts is teaching the country a valuable lesson in how not to reform health care, if only anyone would pay attention, says the Journal.
Source: Editorial, "Back to the ObamaCare Future: The Massachusetts 'model' moves to price controls," Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2010.
On one hand you could say that what they did, and are doing in MA is a Godsend. It is a real-time example of what's to come.
It just goes to show how ignorant our "leaders" are. The only way to decrease the cost of something is to increase the supply. Subsidizing the cost by paying for it only increases the cost.
You see this in healthcare and you also see it in college tuition. Why else would the cost of college be going up when just about everything else is going down?
by SparklingJewel7 years ago
Economic IssuesFebruary 5, 2010GOVERNMENT UNIONS WIN, YOU LOSESince President Barack Obama was sworn into office, the U.S. economy has shed 3.4 million jobs and the unemployment rate has risen to 10 percent. ...
by SparklingJewel7 years ago
Blogger Alan Caruba summarizes what is going on and warns us that this struggle is about so much more than so-called "health care reform"... it's a battle for the soul and the future of this great...
by Eric Newland4 years ago
People are pretty excited lately about the new health insurance regulations. And sure, I'll admit, it probably feels like a godsend for those who can now have health coverage who previously couldn't. No more lifetime...
by Jack Lee3 weeks ago
I started a Question on this topic a few days ago but I found the question format a bit limiting. The 250 character limit on responses are just not enough to explain details and respond to others of dissenting opinion....
by Aiden Roberts4 years ago
I am compelled to write this post as a result of a comment on one of my hubs and I would really like your help. A commenter who is ill has no medical insurance and is unable to see a doctor, what are her options.I am in...
by Alternative Prime18 months ago
Yup, believe it or not, once again good ole’ Jeb “Jed” Bush corroborates his numbskull brother George W’s superior intellect ~ While Jeb and his buddies in the oil business still receive BILLIONS...
Copyright © 2017 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.