Does government have the right to take over the healthcare sector, thereby infringing on liberty, killing jobs, reducing income, destroying investment, and driving up costs to consumers? Well, as long as it is promulgated by state government, Mitt Romney thinks there is nothing wrong.
The conservative Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University has done a comprehensive study surveying the devastation of Romneycare – and it's not pretty. The study, which was obtained by the Boston Herald, analyzed trends in healthcare costs and employment data before and after passage of this unconstitutional behemoth. Here are some of the key findings of the Romneycare devastation:
- cost the Bay State 18,313 jobs;
- drove up total health insurance costs in Massachusetts by $4.311 billion;
- slowed the growth of disposable income per person by $376; and
- reduced investment in Massachusetts by $25.06 million.
Additionally, the study found that much of the higher costs were subsidized by the federal government (national taxpayers) through a Medicaid waiver program. A previous Beacon Hill study found that Romneycare cost Medicaid $2.4 billion and Medicare $1.4 billion. It is these very costly state programs that are causing federal Medicaid expenditures to rise from its current level of $280 billion to $574 billion in 2020. It is these very state mandates that have spiked the cost of private health insurance for years.
Any conservative should understand that costs will not decline until we restore the free market to the healthcare sector. Until then, taxpayers of all fifty states will be forced to bail out pernicious blue state policies. According to an analysis by the Rand Corporation, “in the absence of policy change, health care spending in Massachusetts is projected to nearly double to $123 billion in 2020, increasing 8 percent faster than the state’s gross domestic product.” We know who will be footing much of the bill. So much for it being a state issue. Maybe Romney is correct in asserting that it was a good idea on a state level. After all, the federal government is funding it. Don't worry, we won't call it a Ponzi scheme.
Unfortunately, many of the candidates have erroneously misconstrued the 10th amendment as some sort of blank check to the states. In reality, the concept of federalism can only be applied to legitimate core functions of government. For example, infrastructure and transportation are appropriate functions of government; however, under the guidance of federalism, it is best provided on a state level. Tyranny, on the other hand, can never be propagated by any form of government. No government, state or federal, can force someone to buy certain light bulbs, toilets, or health insurance. Those rights are exclusively reserved to the people.
Besides, any government intervention in large sectors of our economy portends disaster. As research director Paul Bachman told the Boston Herald, “mandating health insurance coverage and expanding the demand for health services without increasing supply drove up costs. Economics 101 tells us that.” He also noted that the failures of Romneycare should serve as an ominous sign for the rest of the nation, as Obamacare begins to take effect. “We think it’s very pertinent and very similar to the health-care law that was passed nationally — it’s a case study. This is what happened in Massachusetts, and this is what can be expected from the national health-care act.”
In other words, venture socialism is just as bad at a state level as at a federal level. Both Obamacare and Romneycare are driving up the cost of private health insurance, in the hope that it will become unsustainable, thereby forcing single-payer down our throats. Both Obamacare and Romneycare will leave every taxpayer across the nation to pay for the inevitable collapse.
In that sense, Romney might be in the unique position to serve as our most articulate spokesman against Obamacare – if only he seized the opportunity.