Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Massachusetts Update

The 8/16/2011 Washington Times reports that "Health coverage, rates rise in Massachusetts".

Although MA residents have theoretical "coverage", that does not necessarily mean they get actual medical care. Furthremore, "health care premiums continued to outpace inflation by rising an average of 5 percent to 10 percent each year".

The article notes that this will soon become a problem at the national level:
Reforming health care in Massachusetts -- and the challenges that came with it -- foreshadowed President Obama's health care initiative, which he signed into law last year. The Affordable Care Act closely mirrors Mr. Romney's overhaul, leaving in place the employer-coverage model but expanding subsidized coverage.

Both laws include mandates on individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a fine, and on businesses to offer insurance, though they exempt small firms. Both establish insurance exchanges that offer subsidized coverage to low-income individuals and families and ban insurance companies from rejecting individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Now, both plans face questions over how to pay for their reforms over the coming decades.

In Massachusetts, that problem is already acute...
The MA plan also relies heavily on expanding government-subsidized health programs such as MassHealth ("which includes Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program"). One of Romney's former health policy advisors acknowledges that this "does create problems for sustainability".

The article also noted that, "An extra $5.6 billion in Medicaid funding through the federal stimulus bill helped to pay for the program over the past two-plus years. As of this year, though, that assistance is gone."

In other words, the MA plan was kept partially afloat by the taxpayers of the other 49 states. But under the national ObamaCare plan, who will bail out the United States? I wouldn't count on Germany or China being eager to foot the bill!

(Read the full text of "Health coverage, rates rise in Massachusetts".)

For more information on how ObamaCare will harm the US economy, see this piece by US Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), "Health care law will deepen deficit".