Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Massachusetts Problems

The March 17, 2008 Boston Globe reports that the Massachusetts "universal health care" system is having a "catastrophic" effect on the Cambridge Health Alliance, which takes care of many of the poor and uninsured in the Boston area. The state plan pays for only "60 to 70 percent" of the cost of the care delivered, and "has left [the Cambridge Health Alliance] responsible for providing free care for those without insurance while reducing the hospitals' compensation for such services." The Cambridge Health Alliance is therefore being forced to fire staff and reduce patient services in order to stay solvent.

As we've seen in Canada and the UK, governments can make plenty of paper promises of "universal health care". But they can't deliver actual care. Once again, we see the following lessons:

1) "Universal" health care inevitably leads to rationing. This particular development is just one way which it can occur.

2) The rationing especially hurts those whom "universal care" was ostensibly supposed to help. This is just an instance of the broader principle that socialism and collectivism harms everyone, even the intended beneficiaries (i.e., "the people").

Massachusetts is starting to learning the lessons of those other countries the hard way.