Monday, March 30, 2009

WSJ Warning on Massachusetts

The March 27, 2009 Wall Street Journal is warning that politicians plan on imposing a Massachusetts-style plan on the entire US. Here's an excerpt:
National Health Preview: The Massachusetts debacle, coming soon to your neighborhood.

...In Massachusetts's latest crisis, Governor Deval Patrick and his Democratic colleagues are starting to move down the path that government health plans always follow when spending collides with reality -- i.e., price controls. As costs continue to rise, the inevitable results are coverage restrictions and waiting periods. It was only a matter of time.

They're trying to manage the huge costs of the subsidized middle-class insurance program that is gradually swallowing the state budget. The program provides low- or no-cost coverage to about 165,000 residents, or three-fifths of the newly insured, and is budgeted at $880 million for 2010, a 7.3% single-year increase that is likely to be optimistic. The state's overall costs on health programs have increased by 42% (!) since 2006.

...Which brings us to Washington, where Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats are about to try their own Bay State bait and switch: First create vast new entitlements that can never be repealed, then later take the less popular step of rationing care when it's their last hope to save the federal fisc.

The consequences of that deception will be far worse than those in Massachusetts, however, given that prior to 2006 the state already had a far smaller percentage of its population uninsured than the national average. The real lesson of Massachusetts is that reform proponents won't tell Americans the truth about what "universal" coverage really means: Runaway costs followed by price controls and bureaucratic rationing.
Read the whole thing.

The Massachusetts plan has neither controlled costs nor provided "universal coverage". Adopting such a flawed plan at the national level will merely multiply our problems 50-fold.

Plus it also sets the stage for a complete government takeover of health care. Although the inevitable failures would be caused by massive government interference in the marketplace, pundits will claim that this is somehow failure of the marketplace and that the government needs to "rescue" the people with a "single payer" system.

For more on problems with Massachusetts, see our archive of posts on the subject.