Friday, December 14, 2007

Romney’s (and Clinton’s, Obama’s & Edwards’) Managed Healthcare Rx Gets Sick

In the early days of this interminable “2008 campaign,” Mitt Romney made a lot of hay out of the fact that he was the first Massachusetts Governor to sign into law a universal healthcare bill for that state.

He’s been relatively quiet on that score recently...and for a very good reason, it hasn’t worked!

A part of the Romney plan, like the Obama and Clinton plans would, mandated everyone in the state to get healthcare insurance. With the deadline coming the end of this month (December ‘07) almost 400,000 MA citizens have yet to comply, a number that includes the vast majority of those with incomes deemed “too high” to qualify for state subsidies.

See? That’s what happens when you offer “free stuff” and set arbitrary parameters on eligibility, people who don’t qualify (1) resent the arbitrariness of those standards and, as a result, those “freeloaders who glom too much free stuff,” and (2) they wait for those eligibility standards to be widened. At current, a family of four with an annual income of $63,000 qualifies for “Romney-care.”

At any rate, it’s becoming increasingly clear that MA won’t come anywhere near getting “universal coverage” for all MA citizens.

Worse yet, the reforms enacted have NOT, as promised, held down other costs! Health insurance premiums are expected to jump some 10 – 12 percent in the Bay State this year, nearly double the national average. And none of this has stopped the new MA healthcare bureaucracy called “the Connector” from imposing ever new and more complex regulations, including prohibiting deductibles of more than $2,000.

All of the Democratic plans (Obama’s, Clinton’s & Edwards’) all rely on the same managed care mechanism that the Romney plan relied on and failed with. What Romney’s plan has shown is, as Michael Tanner (Director of health & Welfare Studies at Cato) said, “mandating insurance, restricting individual choice, expanding subsidies and increasing government control isn’t going to solve (America’s healthcare) problems.” Tanner rightly asserts that the answer lies in “giving consumers more control over their healthcare spending, while increasing competition in the healthcare marketplace.”

As Tanner notes, “Romney may finally be learning his lesson. What will it take before Sens. Clinton, Obama and Edwards learn theirs?”

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