The treasurer (Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill) noted that the theory was by increasing access, it would bring down health care costs. Instead Massachusetts has seen costs increase almost across the board. Those costs, he said, "are being passed on to businesses and consumers in the form of premium increases."By W. James Antle, III
3.17.10 @ 6:09AM
On Sunday, White House political adviser David Axelrod appeared on ABC's "This Week" and tried to brush aside the message sent by Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) improbable election. "Senator Brown comes from a state that has a health care plan that's similar to the one we're trying to enact here," Axelrod said. "We're just trying to give the rest of America the same opportunities that the people of Massachusetts have."
Appearing after Axelrod, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) could barely contain himself. "The American people are getting tired of this crap," Graham spluttered. "No way in the world is what they did in Massachusetts like what we're about to do in Washington." Actually, says Massachusetts Treasurer Tim Cahill, the two health care bills are very much alike -- and that's exactly the problem.
Both health care plans rely on the individual mandate, subsidies, and exchanges intended to match buyers with health insurance plans. "If President Obama and the Democrats repeat the mistake of the health insurance reform adopted here in Massachusetts on a national level, they will threaten to wipe out the American economy within four years," Cahill said, launching an all-out offensive against Romneycare in Massachusetts and its cousin Obamacare nationwide.
Medicaid costs have continued to explode, rising from $7.5 billion to an estimated $9.2 billion since the Massachusetts health care law has taken effect. More people now have coverage, but of the 407,000 newly insured only 32 percent paid for their insurance entirely on their own. The remaining 68 percent were either partially or wholly subsidized by the taxpayers. Only 5 percent of newly insured Massachusetts residents who are not receiving any taxpayer benefits obtained their coverage through the state's "Connector" health care exchange.
What's more, according to figures obtained from Cahill's office, only 23 percent of those enrolled in the state-managed health insurance programs pay anything toward their coverage. About 99,000 newly insured Massachusetts residents now receive free coverage through Medicaid. Another 87,000 receive 100 percent taxpayer subsidies through the Connector's "Commonwealth Care" program. And another 26,000 are legal immigrants ineligible for federal subsidies who benefit under the Commonwealth Care Bridge program.
Not only has health care reform cost the state an additional $4.2 billion, but small businesses and consumers are getting walloped. Health care costs continue to skyrocket. Insurance premiums have jumped 12 percent over a two-year period. So much for bending the cost curve.
In a conference call yesterday, Cahill blamed both conceptual flaws in the bill and Gov. Deval Patrick's implementation. "We haven't changed the way we deliver health care. We haven't changed the way we pay for health care," he said. "Nothing's changed about the cost structure but we've blown a huge hole in the budget to increase coverage by 400,000." Just more people are being moved into a broken system, largely at taxpayer expense.
READ FULL STORY at The American Spectator
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