Thursday, February 7, 2008

Maine's Failed Universal System reports on more problems with Maine's attempt at universal health care:
Maine has recently joined the growing list of failed state reforms. As with other faillures, the Dirigo Care program was shoved down the throats of a bewildered legislature by an egotistical governor who promised Nirvana.

...But look behind the spin and the report is a devastating examination of a program that was poorly conceived and doomed to fail from the beginning – as many of us had predicted. It finds: 1. After 20 months of operation only 11,000 were enrolled in DirigoChoice (out of a total uninsured population of 136,000), and over two-thirds of these were already covered. 2. Of the small companies eligible to participate, only 2.5% actually did. 3. The financing scheme (a “savings offset payment”) is impossible to measure or implement. 4. Almost as many people (3,600) had disenrolled from the program as were newly insured by it.
Of course, these are continuations of the same problems reported by the New York Times in their April 30, 2007 article, "As Health Plan Falters, Maine Explores Changes".

Ironically, Maine and Hawaii are the two states cited by the left-leaning Commonwealth Fund as having the top two government "universal" health systems. If that's the case, I'd hate to see the badly-run systems.

The key problem, of course, is that the government cannot and should not run universal health care systems, because that necessarily involves violating the individual rights of patients, doctors, and insurers, by forbidding them from contracting for vital goods and services to their mutual advantage according to their own best rational judgment. These undesirable economic consequences are the inevitable result of such government interference in the free market.