No health care miracles

Much was made of Massachusetts’ statewide health care plan when it was voted in under the direction of then-Gov. Mitt Romney. There was talk that it would be a model for other states.

How has it worked out?

Judging by an article in the Boston Globe today, it’s worked out so well it’s not working out so well.

In the first year, the program for low-income people has enrolled nearly 160,000, far more than anticipated, and state officials have estimated that the cost could run as high as $619 million for the current fiscal year, $147 million over budget.

The agency that administers the program is on the verge of cutting payments to doctors and hospitals, reducing choices for patients, and perhaps increasing the cost to state residents.

Under the law, residents are required to have some kind of health insurance.

No such law exists in Minnesota, of course. MinnesotaCare was a popular program for the uninsured in the state, but the budget crunch several years ago, led to a raid on the health care access fund by no-new-taxes lawmakers to help balance the state budget. Though the Legislature has regularly debated health care in the state, early signs for the ’08 legislative session do not suggest much agreement is coming anytime soon.

And the problems in Massachusetts make it unlikely it will be used as a model plan.

  • Larry Reed

    Well, maybe not everyone needs to have insurance. Unless people are unable to work through no falt of their own, they really don’t deserve insurance (unless they are kids or old people). We cannot affor this level of liberalism. Everyone needs to pull their own weight or our great Country cannot afford it.

  • Bob Collins

    Larry, in most cases, I think, people’s ability to GET insurance is tied to their employer’s willingness to PROVIDE insurance.

    So if their employer doesn’t provide it (or a mechanism to it), do they still not deserve it?

  • http://AOL mel

    All these plans for universal health care are the biggest rip-offs ever conceived. Any plan even remotely approaching universal care would involve tremendous costs (that Massachusetts is finding out) that have to be paid by somebody (such as the middle-class taxpayer (because they’re always the ones who get stuck with the majority of taxes) or by businesses, who will have to pass such costs on in the prices they charge for goods and services. You’d have to be a half-wit to be duped into supporting any of these plans.

  • Dickens

    I think that the problem as most will come to discover lies in the philosophy of the implementation of these kinds of schemes. To make coverage such as the one in Massachusetts successful, I think the governments ought to make prevention (which is far much cheaper) a higher priority than cure. This way they don’t lend themselves to footing medical bills up the wazoo, like the article reports for the case of Massachusetts.

  • Larry Reed

    I think that a bare bones plan that helps folks when they are real sick might be workable I have no problems paying for the shots for babiees, but the adults can work and pay for there own. Then if they do get real sick we could help them. The immigration problem is part of why we don’t have the money to help the people already here.

  • Sylvia

    Look at the great success England has had with universal health care. Now they have a two-tier system. The ghastly under-funded government provided care, or private health care that still requires separate health insurance. Perhaps medical tourism is a third option.