Skip to comments.The Federal Government Has Been Bailing Out Romneycare, but Who Will Bail Out Obamacare?
Posted on 06/16/2012 9:29:35 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
The Beacon Hill Institute in Massachusetts has just released a very good but very depressing study. The research finds that costs have jumped under Romneycare, but thats not surprising. After all, politicians always underestimate the cost of new entitlements.
The important revelation in this new research is the degree to which the system has been propped up by the federal government (i.e., taxpayers in the rest of the nation).
Thats probably good news for Bay State politicians, who get to shift a fiscal burden to people outside the state, And its probably good news for Mitt Romney, because it somewhat disguises the magnitude of the disaster he imposed on the taxpayers of his state.
But it doesnt bode well for the United States. Who will be available to bail out Obamacare? The Chinese? Martians? The Federal Reserve creating money out of thin air?
While you ponder those questions, here are some key excerpts from the study.
In this study, the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University (BHI) attempts to fill the gap by calculating the effect of health care reform on state and federal governments and the private health insurance markets, including employee contributions to their private insurance plans. We find that, under health care reform:
State health care expenditures have risen by $414 million over the period;
Private health insurance costs have risen by $4.311 billion over the period;
The federal government has spent an additional $2.418 billion on Medicaid for Massachusetts.
Over this period, Medicare expenditures increased by $1.426 billion;
For a total cumulative cost of $8.569 billion over the period; and
The state has been able to shift the majority of the costs to the federal government.
The federal government continues to absorb a significant cost of health care reform through enhanced Medicaid payments and the Medicare program. We estimate the effects of health care reform by comparing the actual value of each variable with the value it would have had, based on recent trends, had health care reform not been implemented.
"All true Im sure but does not put the human dimension on the numbers. I am an actual Massachusetts resident and a taxpayer, am self-employed and am a forced customer of the collosally inefficient and duplicative health care insurance exhange that everyone seems to think is so great. My health care insurance premiums doubled because of RomneyCare, my co-pays and deductibles are up 200% because of RomneyCare, my sales taxes went up by 20% because of RomneyCare, and twice during 2010 I could not even buy health insurance because of RomneyCare. If I had needed a new doctor (I didnt), I probably could not have found one because more that 50% of the GPs in Massachusetts will not accept the exchange insurance everyone thinks is so great and for which I pay full price. Even fewer doctors will take the subsidized exchange insurance. This is just RomneyCare from a personal perspective.
In addition the state highway patrol and the courts were cut along with dozens of other programs to fund RomneyCare, state parks were closed to fund RomneyCare, aid to cities and towns were cut which raises local property taxes, all to fund RomneyCare. Your article talks about the Medicaid waiver Romney got from his buddy Leavitt but RomneyCare was heavily funded the last few years by stimulus money (which Governor Patrick got from his buddy). Now that that has dried up there are even worse cuts being made starting July 1, 2011 all because of RomneyCare.
I believe the Beacon Hill Institute relies on a calculation by Romneyites at the Mass Taxpayer Foundation that found that the net cost of RomneyCare to the state itself was about $2 billion since 2006. Romneyites think that is chickenfeed. That is the kind of a Romney-esque venture capitalist view of the world that I would expect of Romney supporters.
In addition tens of thousands of people have lost their employer sponsored health insurance because of RomneyCare, and hundreds of thousands have lost fully-insured healthcare as employers moved to self insure because of RomneyCare (see the latest Massachusetts Department of Healthcare Finance and Policy Quarterly Key Indicators report). In addition, thousands without political connections are going without insurance because of the costs (willing to pay the penalty) while thousands of other politically connected people get waivers. (For all of you that dont like to compare Romneycare with Obamacare, does that sound familiar?). The purchase of private insurance is down dramatically.
To make up for the huge out of control costs perpetrated by RomneyCare the Massachusetts government is now trying to force 25% of the population into HMOs by law and force the rest of us into HMOs by jawboning and threatening doctors and hopitals with losing accreditation and funding. Only this last sentence is not the direct responsibility of Mitt Romney. 120% of the growth in insured in Massachusetts has been for free or highly subsidized ($135 a month for a $1000/month-list-price policy for a person at 300% of the federal policy level).
RomneyCare was simply a slippery accounting trick to try to keep from losing some Medicaid funds. It has turned Massachusetts back into a part of England."
Romney is a Third Wayer, just like the Clintons. Obama is worse, he doesn’t believe in compromise. That is the only reason that I am voting for Romny in November.
Wouldn't that be normal, working, taxpaying American families?
The health care system is not sick, it is suffering from an gangrenous payment system that is dysfunctional because of government intrusion that started during WW II when health insurance premiums were exempted from income taxation if the employer paid them on behalf of the worker.
The only way to restore proper function to the payment system is to make patients pay their own bills with their own money. We all will be surprised at how much health care spending drops when that happens. We may want to continue tax exemptions for such spending, that can be done by extending the existing Medial Savings Account program.
Then the ONLY issue that remains for the body politic to decide is how to best pay the medical expenses of those who are indigent and do not have the money for lifesaving or life-sustaining care. Even if we give the indigent the money to pay their own bills, in order to make their bills tangible and real to them, they should be writing the check no matter what.
Just as we made a grave mistake when we allowed government to extend the natural interest of ensuring that every child received an education to granting government a near-monopoly on performing the education function, we are committing a similarly dangerous mistake in extending government oversight of health care to its performing the function. In both cases, we have and are increasingly destroying liberty and our prosperity.
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