Massachusetts gives us a sneak peek at universal health insurance

The state health insurance plan passed by Massachusetts back in 2006 was supposed to be a model for the rest of the country. It was touted at the time as a solution to both covering the uninsured and improving services.

Spare us, please.

This editorial in the Examiner shows the nightmare that mandated health insurance systems can be, fulfilling all the dire predictions ever said about them:

To much fanfare from both right and left in 2006, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to require all residents to buy health insurance. A new state health insurance clearinghouse was created, with taxpayers subsidizing those who couldn’t afford to buy coverage. Then Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, promised that “every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance.” Yet just two years later, Romney’s much-heralded “solution” — touted by many as the model for a national program — has become an embarrassing flop. Just a year after the universal coverage law passed, The New York Times reported, state insurers were already jacking up rates to twice the national average. According to Dr. Paul Hsieh, a physician and founding member of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine, 43 mandatory benefits — including those that many people did not want or need, such as invitro fertilization — raised the costs of coverage for  Massachusetts residents by as much as 56 percent, depending upon an individual’s income status. So much for “affordable” health care.

Small businesses with more than 10 employees were required to provide health insurance or pay an extra fee to subsidize uninsured low-income residents, yet the overall costs of the program increased more than $400 million — 85 percent higher than original projections. To make up the difference, payments to health care providers were slashed, so many doctors and dentists in Massachusetts began refusing to take on new patients. In the state with the highest physician/patient ratio in the nation, some people now have to wait more than a year for a simple physical exam.

The irony is that Massachusetts officials reluctantly admitted that, despite increased enrollment, the state is still far from universal coverage — the original goal of the landmark law. To make matters worse, Massachusetts is grappling with a multibillion-dollar deficit while Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick desperately tries to slow down those still-spiraling health care costs, which he said last week were “not sustainable.”

If this sounds just like Canadian-style socialized medicine, that’s because it is. Massachusetts residents now pay more for less access to health care, yet their state still has an uninsured problem!

Imagine this boondoggle tried on the rest of the country. When even a liberal Democratic governor says the increases in costs to the state or "not sustainable" you can imagine the nightmare of an Obama plan.

Most of the plans circulating on Capitol Hill require mandated participation in the system - that is, the government will force you to buy health insurance whether you want to or not. The Democrats swear that this will result in lower insurance premiums and better coverage but how is that possible? Unless the government takes enforcement seriously - which means employing the IRS as collection agent for healt insurance premiums - the chances that millions will still be uninsured regardless of any mandate are pretty good.

You also place doctors and hospitals in the position of being agents of the IRS as any citizen seeking health care who is not insured will have to be reported and forced to purchase the government plan or some private plan. Already buried in forms, you can imagine how much doctors and clinics are going to love that.

Eventually, of course, such a system will require the rationing of health care and price controls - a big step toward a complete government takeover of the health care system. The Democrats will swear until they are blue in the face that this will never happen. But one look at what is going on in Massachusetts will convince anyone that the Democrats plan to nationalize health insurance will only lead to skyrocketing costs and a loss of choice by health care consumers.




The state health insurance plan passed by Massachusetts back in 2006 was supposed to be a model for the rest of the country. It was touted at the time as a solution to both covering the uninsured and improving services.

Spare us, please.

This editorial in the Examiner shows the nightmare that mandated health insurance systems can be, fulfilling all the dire predictions ever said about them:

To much fanfare from both right and left in 2006, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to require all residents to buy health insurance. A new state health insurance clearinghouse was created, with taxpayers subsidizing those who couldn’t afford to buy coverage. Then Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, promised that “every uninsured citizen in Massachusetts will soon have affordable health insurance.” Yet just two years later, Romney’s much-heralded “solution” — touted by many as the model for a national program — has become an embarrassing flop.

Just a year after the universal coverage law passed, The New York Times reported, state insurers were already jacking up rates to twice the national average. According to Dr. Paul Hsieh, a physician and founding member of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine, 43 mandatory benefits — including those that many people did not want or need, such as invitro fertilization — raised the costs of coverage for  Massachusetts residents by as much as 56 percent, depending upon an individual’s income status. So much for “affordable” health care.

Small businesses with more than 10 employees were required to provide health insurance or pay an extra fee to subsidize uninsured low-income residents, yet the overall costs of the program increased more than $400 million — 85 percent higher than original projections. To make up the difference, payments to health care providers were slashed, so many doctors and dentists in Massachusetts began refusing to take on new patients. In the state with the highest physician/patient ratio in the nation, some people now have to wait more than a year for a simple physical exam.

The irony is that Massachusetts officials reluctantly admitted that, despite increased enrollment, the state is still far from universal coverage — the original goal of the landmark law. To make matters worse, Massachusetts is grappling with a multibillion-dollar deficit while Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick desperately tries to slow down those still-spiraling health care costs, which he said last week were “not sustainable.”

If this sounds just like Canadian-style socialized medicine, that’s because it is. Massachusetts residents now pay more for less access to health care, yet their state still has an uninsured problem!

Imagine this boondoggle tried on the rest of the country. When even a liberal Democratic governor says the increases in costs to the state or "not sustainable" you can imagine the nightmare of an Obama plan.

Most of the plans circulating on Capitol Hill require mandated participation in the system - that is, the government will force you to buy health insurance whether you want to or not. The Democrats swear that this will result in lower insurance premiums and better coverage but how is that possible? Unless the government takes enforcement seriously - which means employing the IRS as collection agent for healt insurance premiums - the chances that millions will still be uninsured regardless of any mandate are pretty good.

You also place doctors and hospitals in the position of being agents of the IRS as any citizen seeking health care who is not insured will have to be reported and forced to purchase the government plan or some private plan. Already buried in forms, you can imagine how much doctors and clinics are going to love that.

Eventually, of course, such a system will require the rationing of health care and price controls - a big step toward a complete government takeover of the health care system. The Democrats will swear until they are blue in the face that this will never happen. But one look at what is going on in Massachusetts will convince anyone that the Democrats plan to nationalize health insurance will only lead to skyrocketing costs and a loss of choice by health care consumers.