Oracle of Liberty

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Nationalize Health Care…see Massachusettes first!


I will be the first to admit that I was in support of Mitt Romney for president once Fred Thompson bowed out. Mr. Romney had many strong proposals and I assure you is much better equipped to deal with the current economic and financial crisis than McCain and Obama put together. As he campaigned on knowing the real stimulus behind a growing economy and what it takes to make tough decisions that the CEO of our country needs to make, he also touted his MA “universal” health care program as being a success. This was one area I disagreed with him. So how is his health care program working in MA right now?

The WSJ had a good article about how the MA legislature had pushed for the bill, along with Romney (RomneyCare), and made the argument that if ‘everyone’ was covered by state sponsored health care that it will actually decrease the costs to cover that care. Furthermore, as spending collides with reality (i.e. price controls) the inevitable outcome is that there will be coverage restrictions and long waiting periods (see Canada, most of Europe and Australia). Obama endorses ‘Universal Health Coverage’ and as McCain pointed out to Obama in the debates, what if an individual doesn’t obtain insurance under the “individual mandate…Are you going to fine them?” Obama’s response was of course, “No.” But what is MA doing in order to get individuals to obtain insurance under the individual mandate? You guessed it. Individuals are being fined, businesses are seeing increased penalties and democrats in the state have taxed insurers & hospitals, they have raised premiums and pumped up the state tobacco levy. It’s still not enough money. So now what?

A panel has been appointed to figure out how to control costs and preserve “this grand experiment.” One option being considered is to “exclude coverage of services of low priority/low value.” Another would “limit coverage to services that produce the highest value when considering both clinical effectiveness and cost.” Who do you think would make the decision here? Not patients or doctors. And yet another alternative is a ‘overall spending cap’ which is a ‘limitation on the total amount of money available for health care services.’

The NYT had a page 1 article that reported on this issue and it was not a glowing review. The NYT reported that Mr. Romney and Democrats’ ‘expedient choice’ that they made to defer “until another day any serious effort to control the state’s runaway health costs…Those who led the 2006 effort said it would not have been feasible to enact universal coverage if the legislation had required heavy cost controls. The very stakeholders who were coaxed into the tent – doctors, hospitals, insurers and consumer groups – would probably have been driven into opposition by efforts to reduce their revenues and constrain their medical practices, they said.” Reducing costs while increasing access are irreconcilable issues. Only 21,000 people have used the “connector” that was supposed to link individuals to private insurers.

This brings us to DC where Obama, Kennedy, Baucus and Pete Stark. They are devising their own ‘bait and switch’ by first creating vast new entitlements than can never be repealed, then later take the less popular step of rationing care when its their last hope to save the Treasury. As the WSJ article points out, “The real lesson of Massachusettes 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.”

Welcome to the Universal Health Care debate and over $685 billion in taxpayer money to fund the program…Initially of course! Further bailouts will be required…VB will keep you posted.

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2009 by in Uncategorized.

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