Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The health care law that has been in existence in MA since 2006 is the only really clear road map we have of Obamacare. The road is going to a rocky one. The statistics of what is going on there are quite stunning and more than a little scary.
One of the latest examples of why we, as a nation, are in big trouble is that small businesses are electing to pay the fine as opposed to offering benefits to their employees. Sadly, the government penalties are even less than what MA requires. Most of these businesses that are doing this are lower wage jobs, so people will indeed qualify for state funded insurance.
The rates for insurance in MA have skyrocketed since the law has taken effect. They now have the highest rates in the country, and a full 50% of the uninsured are still uninsured. People as well have chosen to pay the fines instead of the very rates for insurance. Insurance companies are also finding that people have chosen to pay for the insurance when a medical problem arises, then drops it as soon as the company has laid thousands more than the fees that they have taken in. No business can survive with this model. Therefore, they have to raise their rates even higher in order to stay profitable. As with Obamacare, MA requires a level of liquidity for the insurance companies. The state is also not paying their mandated payments to many of the hospitals, putting them on the verge of bankruptcy, forcing them to sue the state for the money that is owed to them. They have operating expenses that must be met.
Romney has said on many occasions that he was fooled and this is not the package that he was hoping for. The reality remains he signed it into law. That is fact that he cannot get around, and the republicans in this country cannot accept that lame excuse. It is too bad that he didn't push for the same type of market based solutions that Governor Mitch Daniels did. A success story in lowering costs by using market based solutions and giving people more choice and more control over the costs and decisions of their health care.
The Washington Post also had an interesting article on this same topic. Read it here