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Remember Mitt Romney’s Amazing Health Care Plan

Well looks like the chickens have come home to roost.

Spending on the state’s landmark health insurance initiative would rise by more than $400 million next year, representing one of the largest increases in the $28.2 billion state budget the governor proposed yesterday.
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The biggest driver of the cost increase is projected growth in the number of people signing up for state-subsidized insurance, which now far exceeds earlier estimates.

I’m shocked! Shocked I say. You mean to tell me that when you offer a subsidized commodity in a market with similar commodities that are not subsidized, people go for the subsidized one instead?!?!?! Simply amazing.

State and federal taxpayers are expected to bear nearly all of the additional cost.

And yet Romney is supposedly a Republican. Let me see, is it usually part of the Republican platform to get one group of people to pay for another groups consumption of a product or service? I guess so.

But the long-term cost of the insurance initiative continues to concern pol icy makers and analysts, who are worried that it may become unaffordable.

“These increases are more than anticipated, so we absolutely have to find ways to hold down the rate of growth in future years,” said Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-funded budget watchdog that has supported the initiative.

Here are two ideas that push the cost back on the individuals in the plan and will never show up on a balance sheet anywhere:

  1. Increase waiting times.
  2. Suspend certain procedures, treatments, etc.

The nice thing about these two is that while they impose costs in the individuals in the plan, there are no dollor costs. Externalities if you will.

Patrick said he is optimistic about federal support, but acknowledged that “nothing is certain.”

Separately, the state is counting on $5 million in revenue from businesses that don’t provide insurance for their employees, down from the $24 million included in this year’s budget that has not materialized.

Yeah, let’s count on money that doesn’t materialize.

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About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    You mean to tell me that when you offer a subsidized commodity in a market with similar commodities that are not subsidized, people go for the subsidized one instead?!?!?! Simply amazing.

    That’s one explanation. Or, when the economy tanks and people are working low-paying and/or multiple jobs just to keep basic amenities going, those crappy jobs don’t provide health care at all.

    Hey, remember back when Bush & the neocons had such a hard-on to privatize Social Security and put it in the hands of outfits like Citibank? Good times, good times…

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  2. Tlaloc says:

    I’m shocked! Shocked I say. You mean to tell me that when you offer a subsidized commodity in a market with similar commodities that are not subsidized, people go for the subsidized one instead?!?!?! Simply amazing.

    Which is why plans predicated upon government working with the current system are retarded. We don’t need government and private insurers, we just need to eliminate the latter group like the parasites that they are. Then we can run a clean intelligent government service like all those countries that absolutely bury ous in every health stat.

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  3. just me says:

    Then we can run a clean intelligent government service like all those countries that absolutely bury ous in every health stat.

    You mean like the military and VA systems we currently have? Not thanks, been there, done that, still doing it, and it isn’t anything to write home about.

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  4. Michael says:

    Hey, remember back when Bush & the neocons had such a hard-on to privatize Social Security and put it in the hands of outfits like Citibank? Good times, good times…

    Heh, I had forgotten about that, sure puts that whole debate into perspective, doesn’t it?

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  5. Tlaloc says:

    You mean like the military and VA systems we currently have? Not thanks, been there, done that, still doing it, and it isn’t anything to write home about.

    Uh the VA health system is one of our better ones.
    Read about it.

    If you are thinking of the horrible conditions at Walter Reed, keep in mind those occured AFTER management was turned over to a private company (gosh what a surprise).

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  6. [...] As for what McCain might have waiting for Romney, how about some straight talk about his mad economic skillz? [...]

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  7. Steve Verdon says:

    Tlaloc,

    The only problem with your solution is that everywhere else they are facing unsustainable growth rates, and as the late great economist Herb Simon has said, “Unsustainable trends are not sustained.”

    So your next solution would be?

    P.S. The French use private insurers too.

    Uh the VA health system is one of our better ones.
    Read about it.

    Really, then why did my step-father, who has a very serious problem with cancer, go outside the VA system? Granted the VA is still doing some good stuff, but it isn’t the be all and end all.

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  8. [...] opportunity never arose so he’s stuck doing it with an ad. RomneyCare’s on tap for a $400 million spending increase next year in Massachusetts; as Team Maverick (oddly) puts it, that’s … “not very [...]

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  9. Naomi says:

    Vermont’s Catamount plan is also struggling.
    You Can’t Get There From Here
    The danger facing Catamount is that the pool of participants is not large enough to provide enough income to the program. If only the sickest people are participating, then there will not be enough revenue to pay for their care.

    Interesting statistic in comment section here:
    The Shumlin Spin Game
    So, If H. 304 passes in Vermont, we’ll have a “single payer” for hospital services, but it won’t include Medicare, or Medicaid or ERISA plans. That means it will cover about around 25% of the dollars spent in hospitals. 25%. Period.

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