What the future would look like with Obamacare

I have often looked to Massachusetts to develop insight regarding a variety of federal policies. That state, along with California, are the epitome of liberal-think.

Regimes that tax and spend with abandon usually lead to fiscal collapse. In the case of Massachusetts, one additional program merits scrutiny: medical care. That state led the way with an early version of ObamaCare and it has been a train wreck.

The program was adopted under the aegis of then-Governor Mitt Romney but current governor Deval Patrick  (a Friend of Barack) has long been a supporter. His latest gambit to try to deal with the disaster is his quest for "sweeping authority to review and reject rates" charged by hospitals, physicians groups, medical image centers and insurers.. In other words, he wants a veto that would, in essence, amount to rule by fiat over a price control regime that leads inevitably to shortages, rationing, and at times a black market.
Governor Deval Patrick is seeking sweeping authority to review and reject rates charged by hospitals, physician groups, medical imaging centers, and insurers, in a broad new effort to make health care more affordable, particularly for smaller companies and their workers.

A 40-page bill filed by the governor yesterday proposes to give the insurance commissioner the power to essentially cap health care price increases.

Rates hospitals and other health providers charge insurers would be "presumptively disapproved as excessive'' if they increased faster than the level of medical inflation, and they could be rejected after a public hearing.

Similarly, for health insurance plans sold to employers with 50 or fewer workers, premium increases that exceed one and a half times the level of medical inflation would be considered excessive and could be turned down.

The legislation would also impose a two-year moratorium on lawmakers' mandating any new health benefits that must be covered by insurance plans, a practice that employers have said drives up their health insurance premiums. Small businesses have been hit with double-digit rate increases in recent years.

"Eighty-five percent of our economy is in small business, and they are drowning in these premium increases,'' Patrick said in an interview with the Globe yesterday.

He said his legislative proposals would bring transparency to the current "impenetrable'' contracting system between insurers and health care providers.

"One of the things those small businesses are saying is they can't afford . . . new hires because they're having to make choices on account of escalating premium increases,'' Patrick said. "We've got to get at that.''

Companies, such as Pfizer and some HMOs, signed on to ObamaCare and promoted it through lobbying and media campaigns. As the Wall Street Journal pointedly commented it was a "bad political bet" since it was clear to all but the most self-deluded that Barack Obama and the left-wing mandarins in charge of Congress were determined not to work with drug companies and health insurers but against them.

The companies that signed on with Obama and Company assumed they could guide the debate and influence the final plan to develop a compromise that would benefit everybody. They woefully misread the Democratic desire to control health care in America. As the agenda rolled out it became increasingly clear that Lenin's aphorism regarding capitalist selling communists the rope that would be used to hang them became an apt one.

Obama and the Democrats pocketed the help offered by drug companies and health insurers and then betrayed them by adopting harsh policies towards them in the various versions of ObamaCare being promoted.

Massachusetts is an object lesson in realpolitik: government control of healthcare leads to a dictatorial grasp for control by the government.


I have often looked to Massachusetts to develop insight regarding a variety of federal policies. That state, along with California, are the epitome of liberal-think.

Regimes that tax and spend with abandon usually lead to fiscal collapse. In the case of Massachusetts, one additional program merits scrutiny: medical care. That state led the way with an early version of ObamaCare and it has been a train wreck.

The program was adopted under the aegis of then-Governor Mitt Romney but current governor Deval Patrick  (a Friend of Barack) has long been a supporter. His latest gambit to try to deal with the disaster is his quest for "sweeping authority to review and reject rates" charged by hospitals, physicians groups, medical image centers and insurers.. In other words, he wants a veto that would, in essence, amount to rule by fiat over a price control regime that leads inevitably to shortages, rationing, and at times a black market.

Governor Deval Patrick is seeking sweeping authority to review and reject rates charged by hospitals, physician groups, medical imaging centers, and insurers, in a broad new effort to make health care more affordable, particularly for smaller companies and their workers.

A 40-page bill filed by the governor yesterday proposes to give the insurance commissioner the power to essentially cap health care price increases.

Rates hospitals and other health providers charge insurers would be "presumptively disapproved as excessive'' if they increased faster than the level of medical inflation, and they could be rejected after a public hearing.

Similarly, for health insurance plans sold to employers with 50 or fewer workers, premium increases that exceed one and a half times the level of medical inflation would be considered excessive and could be turned down.

The legislation would also impose a two-year moratorium on lawmakers' mandating any new health benefits that must be covered by insurance plans, a practice that employers have said drives up their health insurance premiums. Small businesses have been hit with double-digit rate increases in recent years.

"Eighty-five percent of our economy is in small business, and they are drowning in these premium increases,'' Patrick said in an interview with the Globe yesterday.

He said his legislative proposals would bring transparency to the current "impenetrable'' contracting system between insurers and health care providers.

"One of the things those small businesses are saying is they can't afford . . . new hires because they're having to make choices on account of escalating premium increases,'' Patrick said. "We've got to get at that.''

Companies, such as Pfizer and some HMOs, signed on to ObamaCare and promoted it through lobbying and media campaigns. As the Wall Street Journal pointedly commented it was a "bad political bet" since it was clear to all but the most self-deluded that Barack Obama and the left-wing mandarins in charge of Congress were determined not to work with drug companies and health insurers but against them.

The companies that signed on with Obama and Company assumed they could guide the debate and influence the final plan to develop a compromise that would benefit everybody. They woefully misread the Democratic desire to control health care in America. As the agenda rolled out it became increasingly clear that Lenin's aphorism regarding capitalist selling communists the rope that would be used to hang them became an apt one.

Obama and the Democrats pocketed the help offered by drug companies and health insurers and then betrayed them by adopting harsh policies towards them in the various versions of ObamaCare being promoted.

Massachusetts is an object lesson in realpolitik: government control of healthcare leads to a dictatorial grasp for control by the government.


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