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The Massachusetts health-care Train Wreck: Coming soon to a national system near you!

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Little-Acorn, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. Little-Acorn

    Little-Acorn Well-Known Member

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    An article written in 2010, shortly after Obamacare was signed into law.

    Obama has frequently pointed out how similar it is to Massachusetts' socialized health-care system.

    Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704324304575306861120760580.html

    The Massachusetts Health-Care 'Train Wreck'
    The future of ObamaCare is unfolding here: runaway spending, price controls, even limits on care and medical licensing..

    by JOSEPH RAGO

    President Obama said earlier this year that the health-care bill that Congress passed three months ago is "essentially identical" to the Massachusetts universal coverage plan that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed into law in 2006. No one but Mr. Romney disagrees.

    As events are now unfolding, the Massachusetts plan couldn't be a more damning indictment of ObamaCare. The state's universal health-care prototype is growing more dysfunctional by the day, which is the inevitable result of a health system dominated by politics.

    In the first good news in months, a state appeals board has reversed some of the price controls on the insurance industry that Gov. Deval Patrick imposed earlier this year. Late last month, the panel ruled that the action had no legal basis and ignored "economic realties."

    In April, Mr. Patrick's insurance commissioner had rejected 235 of 274 premium increases state insurers had submitted for approval for individuals and small businesses. The carriers said these increases were necessary to cover their expected claims over the coming year, as underlying state health costs continue to rise at 8% annually. By inventing an arbitrary rate cap, the administration was in effect ordering the carriers to sell their products at a loss.

    Mr. Patrick has promised to appeal the panel's decision and find some other reason to cap rates. Yet a raft of internal documents recently leaked to the press shows this squeeze play was opposed even within his own administration.

    In an April message to his staff, Robert Dynan, a career insurance commissioner responsible for ensuring the solvency of state carriers, wrote that his superiors "implemented artificial price caps on HMO rates. The rates, by design, have no actuarial support. This action was taken against my objections and without including me in the conversation."

    Mr. Dynan added that "The current course . . . has the potential for catastrophic consequences including irreversible damage to our non-profit health care system" and that "there most likely will be a train wreck (or perhaps several train wrecks)."

    Sure enough, the five major state insurers have so far collectively lost $116 million due to the rate cap. Three of them are now under administrative oversight because of concerns about their financial viability. Perhaps Mr. Patrick felt he could be so reckless because health-care demagoguery is the strategy for his fall re-election bid against a former insurance CEO.

    The deeper problem is that price controls seem to be the only way the political class can salvage a program that was supposed to reduce spending and manifestly has not. Massachusetts now has the highest average premiums in the nation.


    (Full text of the article can be read at the above URL)
     
  2. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    Romney knew it would take many people acting out of character for it to work but the people mandated that he try. He stated all along that the model could only work in MASS given its particular demographics.

    Its not working out there, it fall on it's face immediately nationally.
     
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