Your future under ObamaCare? Just look to RomneyCare
The future of US medicine under ObamaCare is already on display in Massachusetts.
The top four health insurers there just posted first-quarter losses of more than $150 million. Most of them blamed the state’s decision to keep premiums at last year’s levels for individual and small-business policies, when they’d proposed double-digit hikes to match the soaring costs they’ve seen under the state’s universal-coverage law.
The companies have gone to court to challenge the state’s action — it apparently had no basis for its ruling beyond the political needs of Gov. Deval Patrick. If they win, Bay State health premiums will continue their rapid rise; if they lose, they’ll eventually have to stop doing business in Massachusetts — and the state will be that much closer to a “single payer” system of socialized medicine.
The Massachusetts “health reform” disease means more than just bureaucrats setting prices. It also includes rising government spending and taxes; politicians demonizing doctors, hospitals and insurers — and patients getting lectured that the restrictions of managed care are good medicine.
It’s what’s in store for all of America. The Bay State’s structure provided the base for ObamaCare. “Basically, it’s the same thing,” says MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who was a health adviser to GOP Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama.
Of course, speaking of audacity, it was Mitt Romney who signed MassCare into law.
That said, anyone who can’t see the parallels either isn’t playing with a full deck or is being willfully blind. Just analyze what is happening in MA and it becomes obvious what our future holds under ObamaCare:
RomneyCare offered no real means to control and ultimately reduce costs. Its backers made airy promises of redirecting monies from state-sponsored charity care to insurance premiums, claiming that an insured population would be healthier and save money. In fact, the state has begged Washington year after year for money to plug the system’s gaps. In the program’s first three years, the feds will have spent $21.2 billion — $3,000 per Massachusetts resident.
Actually, ObamaCare’s cost-control promises are even more fantastic — from supposed slashing of Medicare payment rates to politically impossible “Cadillac” taxes. The only real cost control in either plan will be the brute force of government.
Speaking of the “supposed slashing of Medicare payment rates”, forget it. Keith Hennessey has caught them red-handed trying to slide the “doc fix” through under the radar. It increases Medicare payments for doctors for 18 months at a cost of $63 billion. It also raises taxes – mostly on businesses and certain kind of partnership income called “carried interest” – and extends unemployment benefits again, at a cost of another $47 billion we don’t have.
The bill is H.R. 4213, The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010. Don’t you just love the Orwellian names they give these things?
CBO gives us the net budgetary effects of the bill over the 11-year period 2010-2020:
* $40 B net tax increase;
* $174 B spending increase;
* $134 B deficit increase.
Health care disaster looms, financial disaster looms, and those presently in Congress still don’t seem to get it, of if they do, they just don’t give a damn.
This is your America today.