Skip to comments.Massachusetts Universal Healthcare System Breaking Down Already
Posted on 06/30/2009 6:36:42 AM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
When Governor Mitt Romney instituted a universal healthcare plan for Massachusetts in 2006 he proclaimed it a conservative idea. "It's a conservative idea insisting that individuals have responsibility for their own health care, he said. I think it appeals to people on both sides of the aisle: insurance for everyone without a tax increase." The plan passed and was put into practice. But has it worked? Has it been successful?
For a time, many thought it might but cracks in the system are already being seen. These cracks are instructive as a lesson on how Obamacare will crash and burn just like Romneycare is now in the process of doing.
One of the early claims that helped push Romneycare through to law was the insistence by its supporters that Emergency Room visits would fall as more and more citizens became covered under healthcare insurance. Since ER care is far more expensive than a doctor's care, it was thought that more people with insurance would ease the overcrowding of ERs as well as lower the overall costs of healthcare.
However, a flaw in this logic has been seen throughout the state. As more people became insured, more people demanded the care of doctors. These doctors became overloaded with patients and waiting lists for doctors got longer and longer. As a result, ERs in Massachusetts have not seen a downturn in visits. On the contrary, it seems that ER visits are actually on the upswing in the Bay State. In fact, in 2007 they were higher than the national average by 20 percent...
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When you eliminate the great engine of private profit, all you are left with is cost and nothing to support it. That becomes a black hole sucking in taxpayer money and forcing reduction in service at the same time.
People are so stupid.
Ha-Ha, payback and karma is a b-——, wait reality will never set in, the sheeple are to ingrained into the system./Just Asking - seoul62......
If the govt is in charge of all of our healthcare, here is a list of what we can expect.
1. HEALTH CARE RATIONING.
2. LONG WAITS FOR TREATMENT.
3. FEWER DOCTORS.
4. LIFE AND DEATH DECISIONS MADE BY GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS RATHER THAN DOCTORS.
5. INABILITY TO SUE THE GOVERNMENT FOR CARASTROPHIC MEDICAL ERRORS AND MISTAKES.
6. LACK OF PRIVACY. YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY AND RECORDS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR ALL TO SEE AND READ.
7. EXPONENTIALLY INCREASING THE SIZE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE NATIONAL DEBT TO EVEN HIGHER RECORD LEVELS THAN EVER BEFORE. THIS PROGRAM WILL NOT PAY FOR ITSELF EVENTUALLY BUT WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY MORE EXPENSIVE. THE ONLY WAY FOR THIS PROGRAM TO WORK WOULD BE TO ALLOW MORE AMERICANS TO DIE UNNECESSARILY.
All noted and sadly I have come to a realization that neither party represents us: they are dominated by special interests that have no regard for the hard working, American Taxpayers that are being sucked dry, to pay for the freebie machine to keep the sheeple in place. It does not help also that the party that claims to have the higher moral ground is bogged down in scandals-Sanford and Ensign affairs, with probably many more to come. There is at least one high profile Queen in the Republican Party that mark my words, the opposition will out if he gets too big for his britches. Remember, wonder why certain Gop personalities have not been more vocal - it is because their enemies know of their skeletons in their closet and they have been rattling big time!!!!!! The GOP Party is dominated by Tanned-Ken Dolls!!!!!!/Just Asking - seoul62.......
Romney needs to be convinced that he can aspire to being head of Homeland Security or something like that and get out of Sarah’s way.
8) Increased illegal immigration from the third world since they will also be allowed free health care.
I wonder when someone will interview Mr. Romney about the failure of Romneycare?
“All sorts of rosy scenarios were drawn and everyone smiled and backslapped to get these unfunded mandates passed. But now reality is setting in and the system is crashing down around them.
This is the fate of Obamacare on the national level.”
I can’t stand rommey.... his opinion of himself is WAY out of proportion....
For instance, if there is a dramatic increase in the insured population (no matter what the program) then of course there is going to be an overload on the physician system. Is that "bad" or unexpected? That is, the initiative is to make healthcare available to the full population, right? So there is going to be more demand on physicians, right? So people will go to the ER when care is needed, right? That is, people now, insured or not insured, do get care at the ER right? They are hardly going to have the door shut on them when coming in with a bleeding ulcer, right?
In other words, if healthcare is not to be brutally denied anyone, then surely everyone has to own up in some form or other, right?
"Romneycare" does reflects a "conservative" approach, through the insistence of everyone having insurance, but on one's own terms. Exactly like auto insurance. And in fact this writer (Huston) gives no evidence that "Romneycare" is more expensive than the current alternate where only the more affluent pay for insurance while the less affluent walk in and get care regardless.
Anyway one looks at it, health insurance is going to be expensive to some degree if everyone has access to healthcare, because many many people are irresponsible about there own health and about how they exploit a "system."
Keeping costs down in this paradigm involves barring lawyers from intrusion (e.g. John Edwards) so to keep physician/hospital insurance down, and to offer multi-tier healthcare, in accord with price, and to be hardass (rightest) about it (again, keeping lawyers out of it). And to encourage living wills to avoid needless care (again keeping lawyers out of it). And of course for illegals to go home and burden healthcare in their own territory (taxes).
Does anyone think that Barack Obama, Rahm Emmanuel, Hilary Clinton, Chuck Shumer, etc. etc. will want to keep lawyers out of it?
This writer, like so many these days, does not have the courage or imagination to suggest any solution, just juvenile criticism. At a minimum Mitt Romney owned up to a solution. And if Republicans do not follow with equal courage they are at least the same garbage as the Left.
That is happening.
"National Health Preview - The Massachusetts debacle, coming soon to your neighborhood."
"Three years ago, the former Massachusetts Governor had the inadvertent good sense to create the "universal" health-care program that the White House and Congress now want to inflict on the entire country.
It is proving to be instructive, as Mr. Romney's foresight previews what President Obama, Max Baucus, Ted Kennedy and Pete Stark are cooking up for everyone else.
In Massachusetts's latest crisis, Governor Deval Patrick and his Democratic colleagues are starting to move down the path that government health plans always follow when spending collides with reality -- i.e., price controls.
As costs continue to rise, the inevitable results are coverage restrictions and waiting periods. It was only a matter of time.
They're trying to manage the huge costs of the subsidized middle-class insurance program that is gradually swallowing the state budget.
The program provides low- or no-cost coverage to about 165,000 residents, or three-fifths of the newly insured, and is budgeted at $880 million for 2010, a 7.3% single-year increase that is likely to be optimistic.
The state's overall costs on health programs have increased by 42% (!) since 2006.
What really whipped along RomneyCare were claims that health care would be less expensive if everyone were covered.
But reducing costs while increasing access are irreconcilable issues.
Mr. Romney should have known better before signing on to this not-so-grand experiment, especially since the state's "free market" reforms that he boasts about have proven to be irrelevant when not fictional.
Only 21,000 people have used the "connector" that was supposed to link individuals to private insurers."
A Very Sick Health Plan; Bay States Grand Experiment Fails [RomneyCare]
"The Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Va. - 2009-03-31 "
"For folks increasingly leery of President Obamas plan to radically overhaul Americas health-care system,
or 17 percent of the nations economy, all this could hardly have come at a better time
that is, fiscal troubles aplenty within Repubican Mitt Romneys brainchild, Massachusetts grand experiment in universal health care."
"Initiated on Mr. Romneys gubernatorial watch in 2006, this experiment has fallen on hard times, and predictably so.
Even though the Bay State commenced its program with a far smaller percentage of uninsured residents than exists nationwide,
RomneyCare is threatening to bankrupt the state. Budgeted for Fiscal Year 2010 at $880 million,
or 7.3 percent more than a year ago, this plan, aimed at providing low- or no-cost health coverage to roughly 165,000 residents,
has caused Massachusetts overall expenditures on all health-related programs to jump an astounding 42 percent since 2006.
So what does Mr. Romneys successor, Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, propose as a remedy for these skyrocketing costs?
Well, whaddya think? The standard litany of prescriptions (no pun intended) price controls and spending caps, for a start, and then, again predictably, waiting periods and limitations on coverage.
As in Europe and Canada, so too in Massachusetts. And, we feel certain, everyone from Mr. Romney to Mr. Patrick said, It would never happen here.
But then, such things are inevitable when best-laid plans, with all their monstrous costs, run smack-dab into fiscal reality.
"Hospital patients 'left in agony'"
"Patients were allegedly left screaming in pain and drinking from flower vases on a nightmare hospital ward.
Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust over three years, a damning Healthcare Commission report said.
The watchdog's investigation found inadequately trained staff who were too few in number, junior doctors left alone in charge at night and patients left without food, drink or medication as their operations were repeatedly cancelled.
Patients were left in pain or forced to sit in soiled bedding for hours at a time and were not given their regular medication, the Commission heard.
Receptionists with no medical training were expected to assess patients coming in to A&E, some of whom needed urgent care.
Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, said there had been a "gross and terrible breach" of patients' trust and a "complete failure of leadership".
The Healthcare Commission's chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said the investigation followed concerns about a higher than normal death rate at the Trust, which senior managers could not explain.
He said: "The resulting report is a shocking story. Our report tells a story of appalling standards of care and chaotic systems for looking after patients. These are words I have not previously used in any report.
"There were inadequacies in almost every stage of caring for patients. There was no doubt that patients will have suffered and some of them will have died as a result."
Julie Bailey, 47, was so concerned about the care being given to her 86-year-old mother Bella at Stafford Hospital that she and her relatives slept in a chair at her bedside for eight weeks.
She said: "We saw patients drinking out of..."
Thousands of patients with terminal cancer were dealt a blow last night after a decision was made to deny them life prolonging drugs.
The Government's rationing body said two drugs for advanced breast cancer and a rare form of stomach cancer were too expensive for the NHS.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is expected to confirm guidance in the next few weeks that will effectively ban their use.
The move comes despite a pledge by Nice to be more flexible in giving life-extending drugs
to terminally-ill cancer patients after a public outcry last year over 'death sentence' decisions."
"Patients Forced To Wait Hours In Ambulances Parked Outside A&E Departments
"An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph has found that thousands of 999 patients are being left to wait in ambulances in car parks and holding bays, or in hospital corridors in some cases for more than five hours before they can even join the queue for urgent treatment.
Experts warn that hospitals are deliberately delaying when they accept patients or are diverting them to different sites
in order to meet Government targets to treat people within fours hours of admitting them."
"Access-to-care problems are resurfacing in Mass.
AMA News - Massachusetts' Commonwealth Connector health reforms have reduced the state's uninsured population to less than 3% of residents, the lowest among all states.
But a recent survey found an uptick last fall in adults reporting difficulty accessing certain types of care."
"Massachusetts: 26% Consider States Health Care Reform a Success (37% a failure)
Rasmussen Reports June 29, 2009
Twenty-six percent (26%) of Massachusetts voters say their states health care reform effort has been a success.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds that 37% say the reform effort has been a failure, while another 37% are not sure.
Only 10% of Bay State voters say the quality of health care has gotten better as a result of the reform plan while 29% say it has gotten worse.
Most (53%) say the quality of care has not changed. The Massachusetts Health Care Reform was enacted in 2006 by Republican Governor Mitt Romney and a Democratic state legislature. "
"Massachusetts Health Care: A Model Not to Copy
In fact, the Massachusetts plan has been a massive failure and is a model for what not to do.
It has increased costs. It has wasted taxpayer dollars. It has limited patients' choice.
It has hurt small business. It has failed to achieve its goal of universal coverage. Most objectionable, it has created shortages and waiting lists.
Promoters predicted that the Massachusetts plan would lower health-care costs, but -- so far -- costs are moving in the opposite direction.
State government spending on health-care programs in Massachusetts has increased by 42 percent since the plan was adopted in 2006 and currently is 33 percent above the national average.
Advocates promised that the Massachusetts plan would make health insurance more affordable, but according to a Cato study, insurance premiums have been increasing at nearly double the national average: 7.4 percent in 2007, 8 percent to 12 percent in 2008, and an expected 9 percent increase this year.
Health insurance in Massachusetts costs an average of $16,897 for a family of four, compared to a national average of $12,700.
The Massachusetts plan incorporates a system of middle-class subsidies called Commonwealth Care to help pay for insurance for families with incomes up to 300 percent of poverty level ($66,150 for a family of four) and also expanded eligibility for Medicaid.
The Massachusetts Connector, a new bureaucracy that was supposed to increase patient choice, has become an overbearing regulatory arm of government that has decreased competition by prescribing benefits insurance must offer. The Connector is evidently unpopular with patients, since only 18,000 people have used the Connector to buy insurance during the past three years.
The Connector has imposed regulations that add to the cost of insurance and limit consumer choice, such as requiring prescription-drug coverage and preventive-care services, restricting high-deductible policies and putting limits on annual or per-sickness policies. Complying with the Connector's rules means changing from your current insurance that you like.
The costs to the taxpayers are rising, too, and one tax increase has not satisfied the appetite of the hungry plan. The prospect of huge deficits has elicited discussion of cuts in reimbursements to providers and the imposition of a "global budget," which is a euphemism for rationing.
Even though Massachusetts has more doctors per capita than any other state, the Boston Globe reports that waiting periods to see physicians have grown. The average wait is now 63 days to see a family doctor, 50 days to see a specialist and the second trimester of pregnancy to see an obstetrician-gynecologist.
If you want to see the busiest, most popular physicians, the wait can be up to a year.
The longer waits are the result of thousands of newly insured residents coming into the health-care system. Massachusetts has reduced the number of uninsured, but there are no reliable figures on how many are still uninsured since some statistics are based on telephone surveys that don't reach significant groups of people who lack landline telephones (such as young people and illegal aliens). Cato estimates that 200,000 are still uninsured.
If the number of uninsured had been measurably reduced, that should be reflected in the use of hospitals' emergency care facilities for uncompensated care. But hospitals don't confirm this effect. Small business is hurting, too. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council ranks Massachusetts last of all the 50 states for business-friendly health-care policies.
A June 21 front-page article in The New York Times reported that one cancer unit in a Philadelphia Veterans Administration hospital bungled 92 of 116 prostate cancer treatments over six years (requiring these patients to undergo a second operation) before the errors were discovered. The real problem is that the government cannot run health care safely (or cheaper).
Canada is another model of what not to do. It's fortunate that Canada is so close to the United States because Canadians rely on American medicine for serious surgery.
De facto rationing in Canada is practiced by waiting lists rather than by using its realistic name. The Globe and Mail in Toronto reports that the physician shortage is so acute that some towns hold lotteries to win a ticket granting access to the local doctor and that Ontario sent 160 patients to New York and Michigan for emergency neurosurgery between 2006 and 2008.
Although President Obama told the American Medical Association that single-payer (government-controlled) health care works "pretty well" in some other countries, no government has ever been able to run a health-care system as well as private enterprise.
Less regulation of health care, not more government control, is the way to healthier Americans and lower costs.
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