In the Review & Outlook section of the WSJ, there was a nice piece about the problems Massachusetts is having a year after instating their required healthcare initiative. The individual mandate which required everyone to get health insurance is tanking. There are still 350,000 uninsured in the state. Though there was a sizeable reduction from the year before, 2/3 of these “newly insured” came from the low- or no-cost public insurance option. Ouch. In other words, no one is paying for this except taxpayers, I guess. This year the Commonwealth Care was supposed to need $472 million but they upped that to $625 million. Next year they are asking for $869 million. Ouch again. Other than taxing people more, how is Massachusetts going to pay for this? Simple. There is a recipe in place that the government has used for years. First, pay the doctors and hospitals less. Second, penalize businesses more for not using this system. Third, tax something else like tobacco and beer. Maine, that has a 400 lb elephant in the room called the Dirigo Health Plan, continues to do the last one. Turns out it doesn’t work.
The article makes some interesting points on the mistakes of this program. The goal was to connect individuals to private insurance but the problem is that there are so many “low income” people that the low cost insurers are avoiding the state. Add to this the restrictions and mandates on what the insurer must cover (chiropractic care, infertility, etc.) and you have no incentive for them to stay. The article concluded is that if Obama or Hilary get their way for the country, the same results would come to this country. A low cost insurance plan that pays for everything does not exist. Add to this the fact that the majority won’t pay for it and you will find that the taxpayer will be gouged to death once more.