Thursday, August 6, 2009

Top Ten Reasons to Avoid the Massachusetts Model for Health Care

The Boston Herald website includes this short discussion, "Top Ten Reasons to Avoid the Massachusetts Model for Health Care".

Their points include:
1. Health insurance rates for small businesses and micro-businesses have increased by 50% in two years.

2. Massachusetts failed to enact any limits on trail attorneys, driving malpractice premiums higher, especially in high risk specialties like ob-gyn and surgery.

3. The number of individuals with taxpayer subsidized plans is growing year after year due to the ever increasing costs of health insurance.

4. Mandated coverage has not reduced the number of emergency room visits as predicted.

5. As the state keeps mandating more coverage by statute and regulation, individuals and businesses have very little flexibility in choice of health plans, and insurers have less choice in design of health plans.

6. The Massachusetts plan requires insurance companies to do more paperwork so that individuals can prove health insurance coverage on their taxes in order to avoid the fine.

7. The health insurance program is becoming a budget buster for the state.

8. The promise of lower insurance premiums as the number of uninsured declines is not true. As the insured population grows, so does the demand for medical services.

9. The Commonwealth is experiencing a growing shortage of primary care physicians as the newly insured (mostly on taxpayer subsidized plans) look for doctors.

10. The Massachusetts plan did nothing to address the problem of making health insurance more affordable other than providing a government option.
At the level of economic analysis, the points they make are important and good.

For additional thoughts on the dangers of the Massachusetts model, please see my article from The Objective Standard, "Mandatory Health Insurance: Wrong For Massachusetts, Wrong For America".

(Link via SK.)