All politics is local, or so said former Speaker Tip O’Neill (D-MA). One wonders if Democrats lost the thread of what was happening in Massachusetts when they tried to nationalize the Massachusetts Senate special election around Barack Obama’s universal health care plan.
You see, Obama’s plan borrowed much conceptually from Massachusetts plan that Ted Kennedy and Mitt Romney worked on. The key concepts: a mandate implemented through the tax code, exchanges, and an increase in the regulatory burden on insurance plans and therefore costs. Indeed, the costs of health care in Massachusetts are rising and people are dissatisfied.
Read on …
Peter Suderman wrote at the Daily Caller that the costs of Massachusetts health care are already 20% higher than projected three-and-a-half years ago when it was passed::
And in summer 2009, the state announced plans to drop coverage for 30,000 legal immigrants with a goal of cutting $130 million in health-care expenses.
One problem the state has faced is that it failed to accurately anticipate the true cost of the program. At the time the program was signed into law, estimates indicated that the cost of Commonwealth Care, which is responsible for the program’s biggest single cost, its health insurance subsidies, would be about $725 million per year. But by 2008, those projections had been revised. New estimates indicated that the plan was to cost $869 million in 2009 and $880 million 2010, an upwards increase of nearly 20 percent.
In November, Rasmussen found that only 32% of the state, less than Democratic registration, agreed with the statement that the reform had been a success. Brian Faughnan wrote at the Daily Caller that Democratic polling firm Democracy Corps is finding a deep rejection of Democratic health care plans. It is unclear how different Massachusetts is from the national pattern on this issue.
However, by nationalizing this race around universal health care of the Massachusetts model, albeit with the Obama label, Massachusetts voters finally have the option to express their feelings about their own health care plan in addition to the national plan. This could end up being a strategic blunder of the first order. Hopefully the exit polls will give us the opportunity to discern the degree to which this is the case.