Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) pushed through his own version of mandatory health insurance in the Bay State. How’s that working out?
By ABBY GOODNOUGH and KEVIN SACK
Published: October 17, 2011
BOSTON — On the Republican campaign trail, the health care debate has focused on the mandatory coverage that Mitt Romney signed into law as governor in 2006. But back in Massachusetts the conversation has moved on, and lawmakers are now confronting the problem that Mr. Romney left unaddressed: the state’s spiraling health care costs.
After three years of study, the state’s legislative leaders appear close to producing bills that would make Massachusetts the first state — again — to radically revamp the way doctors, hospitals and other health providers are paid.
Although important details remain to be negotiated, the legislative leaders and Gov. Deval Patrick, all Democrats, are working toward a plan that would encourage flat “global payments” to networks of providers for keeping patients well, replacing the fee-for-service system that creates incentives for excessive care by paying for each visit and procedure.
“We have shown the nation how to extend care to everybody,” Mr. Patrick said in an interview, “and we’ll be the place to crack the code on costs.”
Those who led the 2006 effort to expand coverage readily acknowledge that they deferred the more daunting task of cost control for another day. It was assumed then that the politics would pit doctors, hospitals, insurers, employers and consumers against one another, and obliterate the fragile coalition behind the groundbreaking coverage law.
More at the link. But here you have a state, in which virtually the entire government is in the hands of the Democrats, operating under a universal health care coverage law not terribly dissimilar from President Obama’s health care law, and per capita health spending is 15% above the national average and another state study found that health insurance premiums rose between 5% and 10% annually between 2007 and 2009.
The article continues to tell the reader how various new forms of reimbursement will “encourage” health care providers to lower costs, though these are nothing but generalities . . . the same kind of generalities which we were given by the Obama Administration in telling us how ObaminableCare would “bend the cost curve downward”¹ — and, at least initially, the opposite has happened — because our good friends on the left decided that health care coverage for everyone was simply a Good Thing, and thus it had to be done, and, why of course such good things can be done with costs controlled. And since The New York Times absolutely supports the cockamamie notion of universal health care coverage, they weren’t going to point that part out.
In reality, they had no flaming idea what they were doing, and never will. Our friends on the left can complain all that they want about evil Republican obstructionism, but the GOP has virtually no power at all in Massachusetts (and what Republicans there are in the Bay State are of the squishy moderate variety), can’t obstruct anything, and the very same problems Republicans warned would occur with ObaminableCare are happening, on a smaller scale, in Massachusetts.
Why? The answer is pretty simple: the goal of our friends on the left was to provide more service to more people, without reducing the quality of existing services, and do it all at less cost than the current system; to our friends on the left, it wasn’t even that 2+2=3, but that 2+2=1¾! Voodoo economics, anyone?
It’s really pretty simple: our friends on the left saw something that they think ought to be a right, and didn’t seem to realize that there is no free lunch, couldn’t understand that you really can’t do more with less.
¹ – President Barack Obama, address to Joint Session of Congress, February 24, 2009.