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"In Massachusetts, Romney needed and got buy-in from the powerful hospital, insurance, and corporate lobbies. To win that support, he could not fundamentally change the way they did business. Instead, private insurance companies got more customers thanks to the individual mandate, hospitals kept their beds full, and corporations that failed to insure employees paid only a token penalty of $295 per worker."
Costs for Commonwealth Care, the Massachusetts government's subsidized insurance program alone are up a fifth over initial projections. Last year State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill wrote: "The universal insurance coverage we adopted in 2006 was projected to cost taxpayers $88 million a year. However, since this program was adopted in 2006, our health-care costs have in total exceeded $4 billion. The cost of Massachusetts' plan has blown a hole in the Commonwealth's budget."
State finances have not collapsed only because RomneyCare spread the costs widely, forcing virtually everyone in and out of the state to share the pain. Cahill cited federal subsidies as keeping the state afloat financially. Indeed, a June study from the Beacon Hill Institute concluded that "The state has been able to shift the majority of the costs to the federal government." The Institute pointed to higher costs of $8.6 billion since the law was implemented. Just $414 million was paid by Massachusetts. Medicaid (federal payments) covered $2.4 billion. Medicare took care of $1.4 billion.
But even more costs, $4.3 billion, have been imposed on the private sector — employers, insurers, and residents. This estimate is in line with an earlier study by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, which figured that 60% of the new costs fell on individuals and businesses.
As expenses have risen, so have premiums. Noted Kuttner, "because serious cost containment was not part of the original package, premium costs in the commonwealth have risen far faster than nationally — by 10.3%, the most recent year available." Economists John F. Cogan, Glenn Hubbard, and Daniel Kessler figured that RomneyCare inflated premiums by 6% from 2006 to 2008. This at a time where the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care was displacing private insurance for many people, thereby reducing demand, which should have reduced cost pressures.
Unfortunately, noted the Beacon Hill Institute, "private companies have no choice but to pass the higher costs onto the insured. Some of these costs fall in the double-digit range." That naturally displeased public officials, since it undercut their claim to have solved Massachusetts' health care problems.
Originally posted by babybunnies
Many other countries have mandated health insurance.
We have it here in British Columbia, Canada. If you can't afford it, it is subsidized by the Government.
Everyone on social assistance gets free health care.
Basically, it helps the poorest members of our society have free health care, the rest of us pay about $65 a month. It covers basic hospital stays, some major surgeries, most minor surgeries.
People in BC don't end up having to sell their homes because they got sick.
Why do Americans think this is such a bad idea? Apart from Car Insurance (if you have a car) and Health Insurance, we don't get told that we have to join anything else, and we've had this for decades.
I was chatting with a stewardess on a quiet flight from the USA lately, and she was STUNNED at how much coverage we had and how little we pay.edit on 27-3-2012 by babybunnies because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by limningumbra
reply to post by xuenchen
This is how SCOTUS has controlled the Office of the President. In the 2000 election, by terminating the Florida count, they took away the win from Al Gore, and handed the Presidency to George Bush. By terminating the Signature Accomplishment, however flawed and watered down by the Republican Obstructionist Congress, they will effectively end this President's single term in office by invalidating his accomplishment, thus showing him to be weak and ineffective, a proven tactic always used by the Republicans. They have known for a very long time that if you can't win it through the vote, it can be handed over to them by SCOTUS