In the irony of ironies category, Human Events interviews Mitt Romney about what America needs in a government health care system, Mitt Romney Talks Health Care Solutions based on his success in Massachusetts insuring all it’s citizens “without breaking the bank”.
I’d be laughing if I weren’t choking back tears of utter frustration.
You all Remember Mitt…he’s the current front runner for 2012. He’s the genius of the business world, the FisCon’s FisCon. He’s the guy that saved the 2002 Winter Olympics. He’s the champion of the free market and the engineer of the “Market Based” health Care plan in Massachusetts.
So…What does Mitt think of his work as Governor of Massachusetts in passing Socialized Health Care Reform?
When it comes to suggesting that Republicans are the party of “no, ” I hope people remember that there is only one state that has coverage for all of its citizens, and it’s Massachusetts and it’s something that a Republican governor was able to accomplish. So Republicans have views and plans and our plans have a number of positive features.
First, every one I’ve seen gets our citizens insured, and does so without establishing a government insurance program. And also does so without creating a trillion dollar obligation of the taxpayers of the nation. And that’s what I think is critical. We have proven in Massachusetts that you can get everyone insured without having to break the bank. You can get everyone insured without having government institute an insurance plan. And whether you like our Massachusetts plan or not, it proves those two things, and there are some others that have other features that are perhaps just as good or better than those that we devised in Massachusetts. They ought to be evaluated, scored by the CBO and given the kind of thorough analysis that a topic as big as healthcare deserves.
There’s a frequent confusion between two different topics. One is the topic of the Massachusetts Plan which was designed to get people who were uninsured into the insurance system, and that’s working as planned, and almost precisely as budgeted, as forecast by the conferees who put the final bill together. As I indicated, the forecast for FY 2009 was a gross cost of $725 million and it turns out that next fiscal year the forecast of the actuaries is going to be slightly less than that, about $723 million. That’s about as close as it gets. The net cost is about half that figure, about $350 million.
Duck Tape please…My head is going to explode! “We have proven in Massachusetts that you can get everyone insured without having to break the bank. are you !@#$ing %^&%ing me!!!! I can’t think of anything dumber a politician could say when the facts are considered. And this is the guy FisCons are championing for 2012?
First of all…”Without Breaking The Bank”.
Already the state is having to adjust it’s payments for hospitals, doctors and other health care providers. Care is being rationed and emergency services curtailed. Waiting periods to see a doctor are increasing, (some waiting lists are up to a year for the better doctors) despite Massachusetts having more doctors per capita than any state in the country and there are now discussions in the state legislature of paying Doctors a set fee directly and eliminating fee for service billing. Some of you may remember the recent dust up when Massachusetts announced it would be illuminating benefits to 30,000 illegal immigrants.
Additionally, Here’s just one Article from over a year ago discussing the effects of Mass Care after two years and projections of exploding costs for this year! Please note, the projections were from Feb 2008 and don’t factor in the effect of the shrinking economy and the loss of revenue that has resulted:
Enrollment and costs for Commonwealth Care, Massachusetts’ subsidized health insurance program, are expected to double by June 2011, the Boston Globe reports.
The growth “would far outstrip the original plans” for the program, mainly because state officials underestimated the number of residents without health insurance, the Globe reports. Commonwealth Care provides no-cost or subsidized health care coverage to state residents who do not qualify for MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, and do not have access to employer-sponsored health insurance.
When the program was authorized in 2006, the state Legislature projected total eventual enrollment of 215,000 people at a cost of $725 million annually, but officials in late 2006 reduced the estimate to between 140,000 and 160,000.
However, state projections obtained by the Globe estimate enrollment of 342,000 people at a cost of $1.35 billion annually within three years. Currently, about 169,000 residents are enrolled in the program.
Total spending on the state’s health care initiative will equal $1.95 billion this year, with just less than half being funded by the federal government. Two unforeseen problems have contributed to the funding shortfall:
• The state had expected to shift money from no-cost care for the uninsured to insurance subsidies, but the decline in charity care has been slower than expected; and
• The state had expected to collect tens of millions of dollars from the penalty on businesses that do not offer health coverage to workers, but it expects to collect about $5 million this year.
Ohh…the interview get’s even more mind numbingly asinine from there when Romney says the following:
There is no government option in Massachusetts: there is simply the availability of the various insurance programs that are offered by the private market-based insurance companies doing business in the state. So if people were happy with the system they had, and the insurance they had, rather, then they are certainly welcome to keep that, and if people who are coming into the system want to choose a plan, they are given access to all of those available in the state.
This is simply an out and out lie, if not a distortion of the facts worthy of the most slick and polished used care salesman. I remember Romney hitting Giuliani and McCain with his cute statement that “Facts are stubborn things”…well Mitt…here are some facts for you!
The reform law authorized the development of an independent state agency, known as the Connector, to implement the reform. The Connector offers a menu of insurance options and serves as an intermediary to assist individuals in acquiring health coverage. It manages two similarly named but different health insurance programs, Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice…..
In addition to managing these two programs, the Connector is charged with developing several policy and regulatory components of reform. Among its most important policy tasks are the establishment of the benefits packages and premium contribution schedules for the Commonwealth Care program, the development of regulations defining what constitutes coverage for purposes of the mandate, and the construction of affordability guidelines.
Well…OK…Technically it’s not a lie because maybe Romney didn’t set up a “government option” but it set up a government agency that dictates what options would be available and what insurance customers are allowed to purchase or face fines for not purchasing them!
In the last three years the “Connecter” has virtually eliminated competition in the insurance market mandating coverage that must be provided amongst insurance companies which has increased the cost of premiums and added to the control of the state over the market. In addition, the state has had to slash spending for health care in its network of “Safety-Net”, (read public), hospitals.
Escalating Costs Make the Reform Unsustainable
The reform has been more expensive than expected (as shown below), costing $1.1 billion in fiscal 2008 and $1.3 billion in fiscal 2009. The plan does nothing to control skyrocketing healthcare costs. Even before the health reform, health costs in Massachusetts were among the highest in the world, approximately 25% higher than the U.S. average.
Since the reform’s passage, premiums have continued to escalate. The costs for the four (subsidized) Commonwealth Care plans rose 9.4 % in 2009, significantly higher than increases in inflation or wages.
The health reform has actually increased administrative costs and waste, already a major cause of high health care costs in the U.S. The Connector adds an additional 4.5% administrative cost to each policy it brokers. This is on top of the overhead of individual insurance plans, an average of at least 10%.
There is so much I could throw it this fool I can’t find the time, the room, or the organization to put it all together…but I’ll leave it at this!
Romney toots his horn about how his pet project has controlled costs, provided universal coverage, (though there are still 3% to 5% of Mass’s citizens still uninsured), and all at no additional cost and then throws out this pile of white washed excrement!
Then there’s another issue, however, and that’s the fact that the cost of health care, generally in Massachusetts, like the rest of the nation, continues to rise at a very high rat. Health care inflation in America is very, very high. In Massachusetts, it’s higher than average even. That is not something which we were able to deal with at the state level, and, in my view, that’s something that can be dealt with in Washington in part because the federal government sends out Medicare and Medicaid, which comprise about 50% of all health care spending in this country.
Umm…excuse me Governor…but wasn’t the whole point of this fiasco to control the rise in costs…yet rates are still raising at a very high rate? By the way…according to several studies, costs are rising in Massachusetts at a faster rate than any other state in the union! So what did you really accomplish with your little foray into socialized medicine and central planning? with this you actually want to explain away your plan’s inability to control the rise in health care costs because health care costs are rising to fast?…uhh…OK?!
The Human Events interview goes way beyond what I’ve covered here and I’d encourage everyone here to read it…especially those who want to cling to the notion that Romney is a fiscal conservative. This interview proves what I’ve said all along…Romney isn’t ashamed of his big government health care solution for Massachusetts. In fact…he’s proud of it. From Mass-Care, to his call for a Detroit Bailout and on and on he has proven he is anything but a small government fiscal conservative and if he had a chance, he’d proudly enslave us all in a government health care bureaucracy by signing legislation with a Republican stamp of approval on it!