Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gratzer: Massachusetts Poses Problem for Obamacare

In his January 13, 2010 piece in the Washington Examiner, Dr. David Gratzer discusses the effect of Massachusetts on ObamaCare.

He covers both the Brown-Coakley race and some important background information about Massachusetts' "universal" health care plan:
...An expansion of Medicaid, subsidies for those with low income, an insurance exchange, a mandate for individuals to buy insurance -- all of these ideas that are core to Obamacare already passed in the Bay State a few years ago.

And, by all accounts, the experiment has been problematic. Yes, the total number of uninsured has dropped. But insurance premiums soared, boasting double-digit annual increases. The Boston Globe recently proclaimed that Massachusetts now has the highest insurance costs in the country.

Needless to say, state officials are at a loss -- and on the hook. Program spending is about 85 percent higher than originally projected. Recently discussed proposals include a return to managed care-like capitation and even price controls.

...As [Massachusetts officials] were implementing the plan, they insisted that basic health insurance cover countless services and offer wide subsidies. In other words, for a health system plagued by subsidies and regulations, officials decided to offer up more of the same.
(Read the full text of "Massachusetts poses problem for Obamacare".)

The future of American health care may depend on Massachusetts in more ways than one.