Oddly enough, as the nation considers ObamaCare, the press is completely uninterested in the experience of Massachusetts and Hawaii, both of which have ambitious, and failed, experiments in trying to provide universal health care. Mitt Romney, the architect of the Bay State's health care plan, which is costing far more than expected, is largely absent from the airwaves, despite his legitimate claim to be an expert. The Boston Globe calls the plan a "failure" and notes "The state's plan flunks on all counts."
Spending for the Commonwealth Care subsidized program has doubled, from $630 million in 2007 to an estimated $1.3 billion for 2009, which is not sustainable.
As for Hawaii, the President's home state, Steve Gilbert of Sweetness & Light highlights the great hopes for Hawaii as a "model" (according to the New York Times) for the nation. He cites several articles over the years, which make illuminating background for considering ObamaCare. As usual, he highlights the relevant texts. View all of them here. In Hawaii, as in Mass, once again, universal care has not been achieved, but costs have ballooned. Steve cites (and highlights) the following from the Honolulu Advertiser less than a month ago:
A law enacted in Hawai'i in 1974 that requires employers to provide health insurance for employees working at least 20 hours a week is being cited by researchers who are skeptical of similar mandates being suggested in the argument for universal health care.
The result of Hawai'i's Prepaid Health Care Act has been that businesses have relied more on employees who work fewer than 20 hours a week and thus aren't covered under the requirement, wrote San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank research adviser Rob Valletta and co-authors Tom Buchmueller and John DiNardo, both University of Michigan professors.
The results of the research into health insurance coverage in Hawai'i "imply that an employer mandate is not an effective means for achieving universal coverage," they wrote.
"Although overall insurance coverage rates are unusually high in Hawai'i, a substantial number of people remain uninsured, suggesting a need for alternative approaches if universal coverage is the ultimate goal," they said...
Isn't it time that everyone agrees that ill-considered plans turn out to be disasters when it comes to achieving universal health care? Federalism really is the laboratory of democracy, and the lab results are in. The president and his lapdog media need to be honest about what we have already learned.