What is the point of having insurance when you can't see a doctor? I remember the night that Obamacare passed I was down at the hill joining in on the protests. We were accompanied by the Catholics for Social Justice Crowd. One of the guys (I use that term rather loosely, he couldn't be more than 22) was telling me that one the main reasons it would reduce costs was because the people would stop using the ER for primary care. Really?
The Massachusetts Medical Society found that 56% of physicians are not taking on new patients. Wait times for appointments are climbing. Just two years after reform took root, one clinic in Western Massachusetts had amassed a waiting list of 1,600 patients.
Despite the expansion of insurance coverage, people are continuing to seek routine medical care in expensive emergency rooms. Emergency room visits climbed 9%--or 3 million visits--between 2004 and 2008. The bill for uncompensated care has exceeded $400 million.I guess there goes that argument. But, everyone now has insurance right? Wrong. Nearly 20% of the residents are still uninsured.
When signing the bill into law, Romney claimed that it would "take about three years to get all of our citizens insured." In 2006 the number of uninsured in Massachusetts ranged from 372,000 to 618,000. Five years later, over 100,000 remain uninsured.But, the costs have gone down right? Wrong again.
A 2010 study published in the Forum for Health Economics & Policy found that health insurance premiums in Massachusetts were increasing at a rate 3.7% slower than the national average prior to the implementation of RomneyCare. Post-overhaul, they're increasing 5.8% faster. Annual premium hikes in the state have averaged 7.5% since 2000.But but but the state is saving money right?
The average employer-sponsored family health plan costs nearly $14,000. That's higher than anywhere else in the nation.
That's only the tip of the RomneyCare cost iceberg. Originally projected to cost $1.8 billion this year, the reform effort is now expected to exceed those estimates by $150 million. An analysis from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation found that state spending on health care reform grew from $1.04 billion in 2006 to about $1.75 billion in 2010. Over the next 10 years, RomneyCare will likely cost $2 billion more than predicted.What is really sad about the above numbers is the fact that the state used part of the state's stimulus money to damp down some of these costs, so the projected over-runs would have been even higher. One of the reasons that the costs are higher?
Of the previously uninsured individuals who have signed up, 68% are receiving free or subsidized coverage.His refusal to walk back from this is troubling enough, but he seems to be proud of the accomplishment of wasting the money of the MA taxpayers. Like I said, there is much about Romney that is troubling, but his signature on this law makes it impossible for the GOP to support his candidacy. If people vote for this man, they are will only be continuing the nanny state mentality that has driven this nation to debtor status. The only thing attractive about this man is his hair.
Many of these people aren't even citizens of Massachusetts. A recent report from the Massachusetts Inspector General found that state agencies have failed to implement controls to prevent ineligible people from making claims. In 2010 millions of dollars were spent on medical services for individuals from 48 other states and several foreign countries.
Stats from Forbes Magazine.