Massachusetts’ Obama-like Reforms Increase Health Costs, Wait Times

This is the reality of government health care, no matter what the supporters of it try to tell you. Facts speak louder than flowery rhetoric.

From RealClearPolitics.com:

By Michael Cannon


If you are curious about how President Barack Obama’s health plan would affect your health care, look no farther than Massachusetts. In 2006, the Bay State enacted a slate of reforms that almost perfectly mirror the plan of Obama and congressional Democrats.

Those reforms reveal that the Obama plan would mean higher health insurance premiums for millions, would reduce choice by eliminating both low-cost and comprehensive health plans, would encourage insurers to avoid the sick and would reduce the quality of care.

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Massachusetts reduced its uninsured population by two-thirds — yet the cost would be considered staggering, had state officials not done such a good job of hiding it. Finally, Massachusetts shows where “ObamaCare” would ultimately lead: Officials are already laying the groundwork for government rationing.

The most sweeping provision in the Massachusetts reforms — and the legislation before Congress — is an “individual mandate” that makes health insurance compulsory. Massachusetts shows that such a mandate would oust millions from their low-cost health plans and force them to pay higher premiums.

The necessity of specifying what satisfies the mandate gives politicians enormous power to dictate the content of every American’s health plan — a power that health care providers inevitably capture and use to increase the required level of insurance.

In the three years since Massachusetts enacted its individual mandate, providers successfully lobbied to require 16 specific types of coverage under the mandate: prescription drugs, preventive care, diabetes self-management, drug-abuse treatment, early intervention for autism, hospice care, hormone replacement therapy, non-in-vitro fertility services, orthotics, prosthetics, telemedicine, testicular cancer, lay midwives, nurses, nurse practitioners and pediatric specialists.

The Massachusetts Legislature is considering more than 70 additional requirements.

Those requirements can increase premiums by 14 percent or more. Officials further increased premiums by imposing new limits on cost-sharing.

“The effect,” writes the Boston Globe, “has been to provide more comprehensive insurance than in most other states but also to raise costs.” Premiums are growing 21 to 46 percent faster than the national average, in part because Massachusetts’ individual mandate has effectively outlawed affordable health plans.

Read the rest:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/09/05/obamacare_increases_costs_wait_times_98176.html

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