RomneyCare: Nope, Still Not Working

Mitt Romney is still defending the health care overhaul he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts. So are liberal defenders of ObamaCare, an overhaul explicitly modeled after the Bay State’s law. These defenders have one key data point on their side: Insurance coverage in Massachusetts is now the highest in the nation, with about 95 percent of the state’s residents covered. But they tend to omit the fact that the state’s insurance coverage rates were already unusually high to begin with: About 90 percent of the state’s population had health coverage prior to the law's passage.

Nor do they tell you about the burden the law has placed on the health care delivery system. Here’s Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute writing at Forbes:  

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.

RomneyCare expanded coverage simply by putting more people on the dole. Since 2006, 440,000 people have been added to state-funded insurance rolls. Medicaid enrollment alone is up nearly 25%, and Massachusetts is struggling to cover the cost.

Of the previously uninsured individuals who have signed up, 68% are receiving free or subsidized coverage.

...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.

So insurance coverage has increased, but largely thanks to tax-funded subsidization. Yet that's created problems too: As more people got coverage, the system has struggled to keep up with increased demand for services. Uncompensated care, frequently cited as the justification for ObamaCare’s mandate, has remained expensive as emergency rooms have been flooded. And we’re not even getting into the cost overruns.

This is the program that inspired ObamaCare. And it’s the program that Romney, for whatever reason, still wants to defend.

Watch Reason.tv's interview with Pipes about ObamaCare's failures:

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  • ||

    This is why Romney will not be nominated by the Repubs. His opponents have clean hands on this issue, and all will happily club him like a baby seal with it.

  • ||

    HURR DURR ANIMAL CRUELTY FTW!

  • SIV||

    Animal cruelty? So what's the "humane" way to kill 'em and skin 'em?

  • some guy||

    Axes, man! Clubs are so stone age.

  • ||

    No, no. Axes wreck the pelt!

  • George Jones||

    Moral of the story: Kill, skin and gut republicans before they kill you and your family.

  • ||

    Personally?

    I would have preferred a magic underwear solution--that's something that might actually work...

    The government just pays for everybody to get one pair of magic underwear (to help protect them from emergencies), and then we all just pay for our own damn healthcare!

    But NooOOOOOooo. Romney wants the government to pay for everybody's healthcare--and then we all have to pay for our own magic underwear?

    I'm tellin' ya, the man's got it all backwards.

  • DST||

    Classy.

  • fish||

    Pity its just metaphorical.

  • ||

    With his health-care shtick, Romney's some kind of freak, like a Democratic Senator voting against raising the debt limit and then being President and bombing Mideast countries...oh, wait.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I'm glad he's still defending that nonsense. If it wasn't for romneycare, he would almost certainly be our next shitty president. Not that our next president won't be a fucking idiot, I just hope it's not that fucking idiot.

  • Bee Tagger||

    This.

  • Mike Huckabee||

    Me too!

  • Golden Corral||

    Don't forget about your four-o'clock appointment!

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    The smartest thing Romney could do here is pull a Nixon. When Nixon's wage and price freeze failed, he was able to present it as evidence price controls don't work. If Romney was smart, he'd present Romneycare as evidence government run health care doesn't work.

  • Paul||

    If everything goes right, we'll have Vermont to fill that role.

  • ||

    As a Vermonter, I regret to say that you are probably right. Our new governor and our ultra-lib legislature seem to be hell bent on destroying our health care system.

  • ||

    That's basically what he is doing.

    “Not one Democrat called me and said, OK, ‘Of what you did in Massachusetts, what would you do again? What would you differently? What things worked? What things didn’t work?’” Romney said.

    He also said what his response would have been if any Democrats had called: “I would have told them this, I’d have said, ‘What you’re putting in place at the nation is not only unconstitutional, it’s bad law, it will not work. And even if it were perfect, which it’s not, it’s expensive.”
  • KPres||

    That might actually work. He comes out of the gate with strong utilitarian anti-Obamacare arguments based on his own personal "experience" with MassCare. If his rhetoric is hot enough, the Republican base will see him as reformed (he's still a Christian, after all), moderate Northeastern Republicans will vote for him because he's not Sarah Palin, Independants will think he's willing to work with Democrats (even if it's bad policy), and while Democrats won't vote for him, they'll find it tough to make the whole "he wants to kill grandma!!" spiel stick when he's already proven his "good intentions" credentials with MassCare.

    And Libertarians will warn against the bullshit, business-as-usual politician to no avail.

  • ||

    No. If he had done better in 2008 maybe. There aren't enough reachable Republicans.

    Paul Ryan has the same problem with (I filled a) TARP (full of money and gave it to my friends).

  • ||

    I wonder if doctors there are going to a cash-only business?

  • masshole||

    state regs would decimate them. where would they operate? no hospital would allow them access. no office operating room could maintain credentials under that regime. blacklist.

  • Federal Dog||

    Not to mention that premiums have more than doubled in five years flat, and there is no sign whatsoever that they will stop skyrocketing anytime soon.

  • Old Mexican||

    The Massachusetts Medical Society found that 56% of physicians are not taking on new patients.


    Typical case of artificially-driven demand and price controls. Think of the long lines at the pump during the 70's, after Nixon imposed price controls on gas. Massachusetts is undergoing the very same economic phenomenon.

  • Henry Waxman||

    Well, the only possible fix then is to go single-payer!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Henry Waxman,

    Well, the only possible fix then is to go single-payer!


    Despite the funny sarcasm, I would still like to say that a single-payer system would not change anything, as it would still cause the same price distortion that is currently leading to the de facto rationing in Massachusetts.

  • Henry Waxman||

    Then we'll just make them treat patients at a price we can all afford. Problem solved!

  • Jason||

    Correction: You'll make doctors use less time for each patient.

    Or mandatory overtime.

  • ||

    Most patients can solve their own problems with a simple Google search, a jar of Oxy and a sharp knife.

  • Tman||

    Intended negative consequences are intended.

  • ¢||

    If Romney was smart, he'd present Romneycare as evidence government run health care doesn't work.

    If he were smart, he'd believe that. He doesn't.
    Plus, the wing of the GOP Romney represents thinks the only thing wrong with Obama is that he's slightly too black for racist teacrackers to support. Romney's appeal is specifically "What he said, but whiter." Policy-wise, he's just some Democrat.

  • Tman||

    I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that Romney is a relatively savvy businessman yet doesn't grasp the failure of Romneycare.

    It's either he isn't really a savvy businessman thus he doesn't understand why Romneycare is a failure (likely) or he is a savvy businessman/politician and he's still pretending he's a Republican in Taxachusetts who has to filter his political views through that reality (unlikely after being out of office this long).

    Either way one need look no further than the increase in wait times at the ER since Romneycare has been enacted to blow that sucker up but good.

  • Paul||

    I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that Romney is a relatively savvy businessman yet doesn't grasp the failure of Romneycare.

    Define 'savvy' businessman.

    I've worked with far too many of these so-called 'savvy' business men and the M.O. is almost always the same: Fly into a big corporation with Big Ideas(tm), and then get the fuck out before the company collapses under the weight of the stupidity.

    Plus, these "savvy" businessmen who go into politics are corporate yes-men drones to the fucking last. If the plan isn't working, it's because everyone around him/her lacks vision and isn't pedaling fast enough.

    Pedal faster! This plan will work I just know it!

  • The Gobbler||

    I respectfully submit that you do not know what the hell you are talking about.

  • Paul||

    I respectfully submit that I do. I've seen enough corporate managers, middle and up get hired on as 'talent' and destroy perfectly working companies in months.

    You must realize that not every company is Coke and IBM. There are thousands of smaller and medium sized companies that you've never heard of that fail spectacularly due to inept management.

  • Jason||

    There are thousands of smaller and medium sized companies that you've never heard of that fail spectacularly due to inept management.


    Off the top of my head, Commodore and Atari.

  • Paul||

    Bottom line, sure, your experience may be different. If it is, consider yourself to be very lucky.

  • Goobs||

    Perhaps you are then a victim of sampling bias? You have only worked at some of these failure companies?

    And perhaps you should consider that while you have seen many managers come and go, there has been one constant at these firms you observed failing? (You)

  • Paul||

    Perhaps you are then a victim of sampling bias? You have only worked at some of these failure companies?

    I have no doubt that I am. My experience is my experience.

    And perhaps you should consider that while you have seen many managers come and go, there has been one constant at these firms you observed failing? (You)

    Nice try.

    I'll hip you to my experience. Starting in the late eighties I entered the tech industry. I've worked in the tech industry before, through and after the so-called Internet Bubble. During that bubble, I began to notice a new trend. A lot of hot-shot suits started filling the industry with Big Ideas(tm) loaded up with venture capital. Add the word "internet" to the business, and you're sure to succeed. Ideas flew from these people fast and furious. Ideas that now seem so obviously stupid, that it was stunning that anyone bought them in the first place.

    Management turnover became very fast. CEOs and other officers went from lasting years, to lasting months, and then weeks. Business plans were breathtakingly confident and stupid at the same time.

    Never before had I worked with so many inept workaholics in my life. The words "Moved on to spend more time with family and pursue other opportunities" became a running joke (and still is).

    For a very apt description of how a lot of these companies operated, may I direct you to Matt Welch's excellent, "Time in the DEN of Iniquity".

    I have no doubt that the tech industry probably has more of this than... your industry. Especially during the years 1999-2005.

  • Paul||

    Try again on the link

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Not just tech industries. You also saw a lot of old-school retailers die the same way in the 90's, early 00's. i.e. Montgomery Ward, Goldblatt's, Marshall Field's, etc.

    I call the disease you're referring to as "The Executive Swirl" (as in toilet bowl). You can find examples in just about every industry.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    No, Paul is right. I've seen the same things.

  • Paul||

    I have no doubt that other industries, stable industries-- you know, like the florists and bowling alley owners, screw and fastener industry haven't suffered with these same experiences. But the tech industry? fuhgetaboutit.

    Read Matt Welch's article. It's actually difficult for me to read because it brings back so many sordid, bad memories.

  • Paul||

    It was probably the least productive, most infuriating news meeting I have sat through in 14 years -- and I once co-ran a communal newspaper with a bunch of 23-year-old hippies.

    This is dripping with truth.

  • ||

    Scott Adams has made a career out of this.

  • Tman||

    The bottom line is that Romney is selling the "I'm the nominee who can turn the economy around and stop the fiscal train wreck" angle and he has been since day one.

    If he can't realize that Romneycare is just a prelude to our national nightmare that is Obamacare, and thus start admitting as much than savvy is not the word I would use to describe his business acumen.

  • ||

    I've said before that Romney will run on the I'm the guy that can fix Obamacare platform.

    We'll see.

  • Paul||

    If he's the "savvy" businessman I described above, he should be saying that Romney Care is mostly working, except where it was implemented incorrectly-- outside of his vision.

    Pedal harder!

  • Tman||

    Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of.

  • cynical||

    "Businessman" can either mean "entrepreneur" or "suit". Romney is the latter.

  • Paul||

    This.

  • "entrepreneur" ||

    Hmm, Mitt Romney action figures.

    Yeah, ....... that's the ticket!!

  • ||

    Why is Dr. Romney wearing crocs in that picture? Is the good doctor expecting a bloodbath?

  • ||

    No, it's because Romney is a croc of shit.

  • Old Mexican||

    And it's the program that Romney, for whatever reason, still wants to defend.


    The most powerfull reason, most likely, being pure and unadulterated pride.

  • Sudden||

    There was a poll on National Review this morning. Is Ron Paul a joke or a healthy candidate. The results were 49% joke, 51% healthy.

    How the fuck can these people consider a guy like Paul a joke and in the same breath treat Romney, whose shining policy achievement as an executive was essentially the trojan horse for the right's most detested Obama policy, as not only a serious candidate, but the frontrunner?

    The cognitive dissonance, as well as TEH STOOPID, are strong with the NR set.

  • Colin||

    They're neocons, so foreign policy is first and foremost in their minds. And Romney is king neocon.

  • Jason||

    Well, expanding the welfare state isn't exactly against neocon ideas:

    As late as 1993, Kristol would advocate a “conservative welfare state” that, for instance, would “leave Social Security alone—except for being a bit more generous, perhaps.”


    -- Flight of the Neocons

  • new commenter||

    Numbers at NRO look much better now:

    Ron Paul may run again for president. Do you consider his campaigns a joke or a healthy influence?

    Joke 8 %

    Healthy 92 %

    33,748 votes

  • Colin||

    The funny thing is Massachusetts had free and subsidized health insurance for the poor even before RomneyCare. The difference is now people are required to take the government money.

  • ||

    Insurance coverage in Massachusetts is now the highest in the nation, with about 95 percent of the state’s residents covered. But they tend to omit the fact that the state’s insurance coverage rates were already unusually high to begin with: About 90 percent of the state’s population had health coverage to begin with.

    So wait... A health care overhaul whose entire purpose was to cover everybody only made it halfway to that goal, and that's supposed to count as a success?

  • Highway||

    You know the rules, CMS: Any government project that spends all its money is a success, and needs more money, because it's not about the goal of doing whatever the money was supposed to do, it's spending it.

  • ||

    I think you have a future in "public service"...

  • I left my wallet in El Segundo||

    Compassionate Conservatism = NeoCon Big Government Blue Dogs

    20 years ago Romney would have been right at home with a (D) next to his name as he touted himself a conservative Democrat. Romney now passes as a 'Conservative' to the slack jawed Republican establishment and Team Red yokels... along with Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Bush II, etc... ad infinitum.

  • ||

    So what's the take-away of this article? Something like:

    "All these people who can't afford to see a doctor without government help should just get the hell out of the way and make the wait times shorter for the rest of us."

    Whuttevvah!

  • ||

    Please don't feed the moron.

  • ||

    translation: "stay in the bubble"

  • ||

    I think you're missing the point.

    If you can't see a doctor regardless of whether it's paid for, why is that better than not being able to see a doctor because you can't pay for it?

  • ||

    I defy you to find anything in that article suggesting it is impossible to see a doctor in Massachusetts. The only problem alleged, or even implied, is that tight supply is increasing wait times because some offices are not accepting new patients while other offices have longer lines.

    There is no suggestion that medical appointments have come to a dead halt, or that people not already accepted as patients today are being permanently excluded from consultation with any doctors in the future.

    The bottom line, even from the article on its face, is that everyone is bearing the burden of tight supply in the form of longer wait times, which is different than the prior allocation of the burden -- to wit, those who can independently afford have shorter wait times for private care, while those who cannot independently afford are ghettoized into public care or excluded altogether.

  • ||

    If you can't see a doctor regardless of whether it's paid for, why is that better than not being able to see a doctor because you can't pay for it?

    Ditto.

  • ||

    infra

  • ||

    Ditto.

  • ||

    passim

  • ||

    Ditto.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    The bottom line, even from the article on its face, is that everyone is bearing the burden of tight supply in the form of longer wait times, which is different than the prior allocation of the burden -- to wit, those who can independently afford have shorter wait times for private care, while those who cannot independently afford are ghettoized into public care or excluded altogether.

    It could have something to do with doctors fleeing the state as much as nine years ago.

    And those who aren't leaving are to the government/insurance collaborative system. At least until the state figures out how to legislate or regulate them out of business.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Danny,

    "All these people who can't afford to see a doctor without government help should just get the hell out of the way and make the wait times shorter for the rest of us."


    It is the government's help what's causing healthcare to be less and less affordable, you imbecile.

  • ||

    To quote cynical: "No."

  • ||

    'No' meaning 'maybe'?

    Ditto.

  • cynical||

    So what's the take-away of this article? Something like:

    "All these people who can't afford to see a doctor without government help should just get the hell out of the way and make the wait times shorter for the rest of us."

    No.

  • ||

    'No' meaning 'maybe'?

  • OO||

    gosh whoda thunk increased coverage would result in increased physician & clinic use! plus more illegal immigrants would increase ER use

  • ||

    Please don't feed this moron either.

  • ||

    translation:

    "'ditto' is the only acceptable feedback on Reason message threads. Don't encourage people who disagree with us."

  • ||

    Please don't feed this moron either.

    Ditto.

  • ||

    translation: "we got nothin' so pweese leave us aloo-oone!"

  • ||

    I think you're missing the point.

    Ditto.

  • ||

    You can run but you can't hide, losers. We own this board. We shred all the stupid, smug nonsense in the articles. We call you out. We spit on your lunch. We slap your moms on the behind. You turn tail. Because you're weak and you have nothing.

    This is what it is: the strong versus the weak. Tiger versus rabbit. It's nature; the jungle. And politics is just nature by other means. So keep running away. We'll keep taking your stuff.

  • ||

    Please don't feed this moron either.

    Ditto.

  • ||

    supra

  • ||

    Ditto.

  • Old Mexican||

    This moron is not worth anybody's time or efforts

    Ditto.

  • ||

    I ditto on your ditto, OM.

    And we are friends again!

  • OO||

  • ||

    Do you libertarians have an alternative to "ObamaCare"?

  • ||

    Yes, and it starts by not feeding trolls like you.

  • ||

    And it ends with getting less than 2% on election night (all of them) even when listed on the ballot.

    Gee, I wonder why nobody likes you?

    An "L" big enough for these losers would reach 1/5th of the distance to the moon.

  • ||

    Aspartame 5
    Danny 0

    You know who else got 98% of the vote?

  • ||

    Why don't you and Old Mexican go "ditto" each other some more. Only this time, get a goddam room.

  • ||

    ANGRY TROLL IS ANGRY! ARRGHHH! SMASH!!!!

  • ||

    Hey, it's Epi! All we need now is Sevo, and then we can do a complete remake of "One Who Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest."

  • ||

    UNFUNNY ANGRY TROLL IS UNFUNNY AND ANGRY! GAHHHH! ARGGHHHH!

  • ||

    Perfect! Now Sevo, pick up the water cooler, throw it through the window, and run out.

  • ||

    Aspartame 5
    Danny -1

    One point penalty for implicit homophobia.

  • ||

    Old Mexican is a girl.

  • ||

    Aspartame 5
    Danny -2

    Two point penalty for implicit sexism.

  • ||

    We use the golf system for scoring, BTW.

    And you are waaay over par already.

  • ||

    Ha Ha!

    You misspelled "way"!

    Ha Ha!

  • tarran||

  • OO||

    the libertarian alternative is...let em eat proctoswabs...used of course

  • KPres||

    The biggest problem with costs in our system is the moral hazard implicit in medicare. Compared to other countries, our per-capita health care expenses are similar (actually, you'd expect ours to be significantly higher, given our higher overall per-capita GDP), up until the age of 60, at which point they balloon , and we end up paying about 4 times as much as other countries (I guess they have death panels).

    Paul Ryan's plan is fine and would work wonderfully. Put a cap on medicare payments; health care problem solved. It's really that fucking simple.

  • DAN FROM MASSACHUSETTS||

    Sally Pipes quoted my sister, the small business owner, which Peter quoted from the Forbes article. Below is the true feeling from a small business owner.

    I am the small business owner quoted in this article ... but Sally Pipes did not speak with me. If she had she would have learned that I am a strong SUPPORTER of health insurance reform both at the state and national level. I applaud Governor Romney and President Obama for their leadership in tackling a serious issue that is burdening small businesses throughout this great country.

    Small businesses and our employees have been under enormous pressure from health insurance companies for a long time. The cost of our health insurance premium doubled in the 5 years PRIOR to 2006 so I certainly would not attribute recent year increases to the reform law that was passed in MA.

    In fact, the MA law COULD help small businesses like mine because it references the establishment of small group health purchasing cooperatives to combine our purchasing power so we could negotiate more reasonable health insurance premiums. Those purchasing cooperatives have not materialized, though, and one can only surmise that 'special interests' are lobbying to make sure this good idea stays on the back burner.

  • ||

    What Dan wants is a purchasing cooperative.

    The reason Dan can't have it is anti-trust laws.

    Problem: created by government.

    Solution: MOAR GOVERNMENT!

    Given that insurance company margins are in the 2 - 4% range, I wonder if these coops could even deliver savings, or whether they would merely level out premiums, so that companies that previously had low premiums have their premiums go up to cover the shortfall when other company's premiums go down.

    Of course, an insurance company can't lower premiums across the board as long as its costs are going up. That sure hasn't happened in Massachusetts, which managed to make the fundamental driver of health inflation (the disconnect between the consumer's pocketbook and the care demanded) worse, rather than better.

  • tarran||

    Rc, Check out the Roderick Long essay I linked to earlier; it details how the AMA eliminated a similar provisioning system called "lodge practices" from the economy.

  • OO||

    and why were anti-trust laws enacted? anti-free market conduct by...wait for it...corporations of course

  • ||

    No monopoly can survive without government support. The anti-trust laws are a great example of a problem created by government, getting "solved" by MOAR GOVERNMENT, and creating a whole litter of cute li'l new problems.

  • MNG||

    Couldn't a monopoly survive as long as the advantages of their 'economies of scale' advantages share outweighed the problems of their diseconomies of scale? It strikes me that this is at least possible.

  • Shorter MNG||

    "I'm going to blather about economics to sound smart."

  • MNG||

    Go to 4:07 PM

  • KPres||

    Monopolies are about the threat of competition, not the existence of competition. The fact is, if you have controlling market share, you aren't inclined to abuse that advantage, because doing so invites competition. It's better, for example, to have a sustainable 90% market-share at a reasonable profit margin than a couple years at higher-margins before losing out to competitors.

  • tarran||

    No, anti-trust laws were enacted to punish companies that were hurting clients of the J.P. Morgan banking empire, particularly clients that were having trouble competing with lower cost competition that were taking advantage of the railroads to sell to a wider range of markets.

    Read DiLorenzo's "Case against Anti-Trust" for the gory details of the lies and propaganda that are used to justify the manifold harms visited upon consumers by governments and inefficient companies under the guise of preserving "competition".

  • Jason||

    This one look interesting: Anti-trust, Anti-truth:

    The trusts "have made products cheaper, have reduced prices," admitted Congressman William Mason, who nevertheless was in favor of an anti-trust law. He was in favor of the law because he, and most of his congressional colleagues, wanted to protect less-efficient businesses in their districts from competition. Antitrust has always been a protectionist racket.
  • KPres||

    In fact, the MA law COULD help small businesses like mine because it references the establishment of small group health purchasing cooperatives to combine our purchasing power so we could negotiate more reasonable health insurance premiums.

    You don't get it. The rise in costs is being driven by the providers, not the insurers. The only way you're going to get lower premiums is with less coverage, in which case your employees would be covering more expenses out of pocket. When that happens, they'll demand higher wages.

  • Hey Dan,||

    Your small business is bound to go under, not from health care expenses but from your dismissal of reality and inability to walk while chewing gum.

  • ||

    This is exactly the reason why we need to get rid of all private health insurance companies. They sit between the patient and the health care providers and collect money without producing any value whatsoever. Their only function is to make profits and increase healthcare costs. We should allow everyone to but into Medicare at cost (or even a small profit for the government). That is the only way that costs will be brought under control. We have given the private health insurance companies the chance to get it right for decades now and they just can not do it.

  • OO||

    ^^this^^

  • ||

    This is exactly the reason why we need to get rid of all private health insurance companies.

    We should allow everyone to but into Medicare at cost (or even a small profit for the government).

    The congitive dissonance, it burns the eyesss!

  • MNG||

    "collect money without producing any value whatsoever"

    Dude, they pay most of the bill. Have you ever looked at a medical bill? It says how much the private insurer pays, and it's a mighty big chunk.

  • KPres||

    They sit between the patient and the health care providers and collect money without producing any value whatsoever. Their only function is to make profits and increase healthcare costs.

    You're an idiot. Insurance companies manage risk pools, preventing providers from running up costs with with unnecessary procedures, and their profit margins run around 3%, so that even if you removed them off the top, the savings would be insignificant.

  • MNG||

    Part of the issue here has to do with what your definition of "working" is. Many on the left think that any system in which a significant number of people are not covered exist is a system that is "not working." For many others a system with increased costs is "not working."

    I've always said it is hard to buy the line from Obama et al., about increasing coverage while decreasing costs.

    The only way I see something like that happening is through some kind of single payer system where the single payer can essentially set prices and suppliers can either pay it or get no business. Of course in that case there would be other problems.

    In theory one big buyer can push prices down (Wal-mart has done this in many areas), which would then increase availibility, but I don't see that ever getting us 'universal' coverage. That's the goal for many on the left, and they want it for moral, not efficiency reasons.

  • Shorter MNG||

    "I'll take it from here, fellow trolls."

  • MNG||

    It's interesting to see Gobby call this a troll post. I agree about Obamacare and even indicate there would be problems with single payer, but hey, he doesn't agree so "HE'Z TEH TROLLZ!"

  • MNG||

    The Urban Dictionary seems to define "troll" like this: One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

    Who knew its actual meaning was "Anyone who disagrees in any way with what I say"

    Most H&Rers; disagree with me, ergo you are all trolls!

  • Shorter MNG||

    "I am more accurately defined as an asshole."

  • MNG||

    Yawn

    Don't you have homework?

  • Shorter MNG||

    "I have no comeback."

  • MNG||

    If this were the days of BASIC I would just write a "go to" @ 4:07 PM loop.

  • Shorter MNG||

    "Aren't I so clever?"

  • Concerned Citizen||

    The left is moral? Wow.

  • ||

    Everyone sees themselves as moral, the immoral especially so.

  • MNG||

    Oh no, of course not, only libertarians are moral!

  • Shorter MNG||

    "Only I am moral."

  • ||

    Moral by proxy at the point of a gun:

    You can run but you can't hide, losers. We own this board. We shred all the stupid, smug nonsense in the articles. We call you out. We spit on your lunch. We slap your moms on the behind. You turn tail. Because you're weak and you have nothing.

    This is what it is: the strong versus the weak. Tiger versus rabbit. It's nature; the jungle. And politics is just nature by other means. So keep running away. We'll keep taking your stuff.
  • ||

    It would be immoral not to own you. You are an intellectually defenseless imbecile. Nothing you have can do you any good. Our best option is to divvy up everything after throwing you in a ditch.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    you mofos sure are violent!

  • ||

    His eliminationist rhetoric is why the Arizona shooting happened.

  • ||

    I think You need a hug, you're very angry. Come here, I'll give you a hug.

    *gives Danny a big hug*

    Isn't that better?

  • ||

    He might need a juice box. I think he missed his naptime.

  • ||

    Poor guy.

  • KPres||

    Many on the left think that any system in which a significant number of people are not covered exist is a system that is "not working."

    Polls tend to show that about 85% of Americans have access to health care, but when you exclude illegal immigrants or people that could afford insurance but choose not to buy it, that number approaches 95%, about the same as the all European countries with their socialized systems.

  • MNG||

    You are always going to have a lot of people going to the emergency room who could have taken care of things with an earlier non-emergency visit because of the large number of no-count idiots in the world. There has to be some disincentive to come to the emergency room. For most normal people it is the prospect of spending the evening in a waiting room full of these same no-count idiots, but that is not going to dissaude the latter. Perhaps a two-tiered system where those who have emergencies that could have been prevented have to wait longer while everyone else is given priority would do it.

  • ||

    Perhaps a two-tiered system where those who have emergencies that could have been prevented have to wait longer while everyone else is given priority would do it.

    Ah, bring the death panels into the ER. Brilliant!

  • KPres||

    There has to be some disincentive to come to the emergency room.

    I agree in principle, but unpaid emergency room care given to the uninsured only amounts to about $45 billion/year, or less than 2% of total healthcare costs.

  • fish||

    .....or even a small profit for the government

    Small profit? Oh that's right like the 65 trillion actuarial hole that is currently projected. Enjoy those premiums.

  • ||

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A large majority of Massachusetts residents are satisfied with the commonwealth's subsidized health plan, which has components similar to the Obama administration's federal plan, according to a poll released on Thursday.

    The poll by Market Decisions, a research and consulting group, found that 84 percent of residents are satisfied with the Massachusetts plan, which requires most adults to have health insurance. A similar requirement in President Barack Obama's health plan has been challenged by a group of states in the courts and the case is working its way through appeals.

    The state health plan, launched under former Governor Mitt Romney, was given high marks for the range of services and the quality of care offered, according to the poll.
    The program, Commonwealth Care, is targeted at low-income individuals earning up to $32,676 a year; families of four can qualify with earnings of up to $66,168 a year.
    Premiums ranged from $10 to $151 a month, and only 17 percent of those surveyed said they had problems paying their medical bills.”

  • ||

    Boo-hoo! I'm a big baby that can't make an argument so I have to whine about trolls and talk about pooping.

  • ||

    How droll.

  • ||

    Scroll over the orange to see some more lefty homophobia...

    It's getting a bit, umm, ubiquitous.

  • ||

    sugarfag@fag.com? There's no way I could have scored a cool fag.com email address like that. I totally would have had to be sugarfag1970 or something.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    The Left: We exist to serve gov't. Gov't does not exist to protect our rights. That's why we hate the Constitution.

  • Ted S.||

    I vote for single-payer legal care.

    No lawyer does anything that's worth more than minimum wage anyhow.

    (It is left to the reader to determine how much of the above is serious.)

  • ||

    Everyone seems to be giving Mr. Romney a hard time because he signed the healthcare bill into law. They seem to forget that's what the people of Massa chuetts wanted! The Democrats, who controlled the legislature, and passed this bill are still there, so the people must not be too mad with them.

  • ||

    No matter how much lipstick you put on Obamacare and Romneycare, they're still pigs. As for Obamacare, here is how it has affected me personally.

    BEFORE Obamacare, that is up until December 31, 2010, the family deductible for my company-paid medical coverage was $300…and it had been $300 for years.

    AFTER Obamacare, that is on January 1, 2011, the family deductible for my company-paid medical coverage went up to $2,800. You can do the math. And because my company is self-insured, it was a take it or leave it situation.

    Obama LIED when he said that if I liked the plan I currently had, I’d be able to keep it. He was WRONG. Instead, my company canceled the plan I liked and in its place substituted the aforementioned high-deductible plan.

    Obama LIED when he said his plan would “bend the cost curve downward.” What he really meant was: “Bend over and face downward.”

    Thanks, Obama!

  • watchcityworker||

    The CEO of Blue Cross got at $8.6 Million dollar retirement package. Glad to know the profit margins are so small...............

    Former Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts boss Cleve L. Killingsworth received $8.6 million in compensation last year from the 2.9-million member health insurer.

    And over the next two years, he’ll receive an additional $2.7 million in severance pay.

  • ||

    So, cliff note style: Still looking for a solution.

    http://www.intellectualtakeout.....-insurance

  • watchcityworker||

    solution- take the profit out of health care...duh

  • Somalian Road Corporation||

    Forcing doctors to work for free might yet still raise 13th Amendment issues.

  • watchcityworker||

    Eliminate the insurance companies....Dr's seem to do fine in Europe, or do they live in poverty?

  • ||

    Utterly predictable take, as usual. Step 1: Try to undercut the fact that nearly everyone is now insured by arguing that insurance levels were already high; and
    Step 2: Emphasize that costs are high, without noting that costs in Mass. were astronomical before Romneycare, due to their extensive free clinics and hospitals.

    Also, really credible to ignore its 84% in state approval rating and argue that 72 page Romneycare is the basis for 2300 page Obamacare (approval rating 35%, despite much friendlier treatment in the media).

    If you guys spent a tenth as much time trashing all the other GOP hopefuls combined as you spend trashing Romney, your page hits would rise.

  • ||

    Well, Romney will have to come up with new and better ideas. Since Romneycare has huge problems, if he would come out with good, sound ideas on the problems within Romneycare, the whole USA could learn. Obamacare is worse than Romneycare ever thought to be.

    You ain't seen nothing yet like what will happen when Obamacare really kicks in.
    I pray for SCOTUS to overturn it. It is a total disaster in the making.

  • watchcityworker||

    what problem are you talking about? Should we have 20% of our people walking around with no health insurance as they do in Indiana? Now that would be something to be proud of, no?

  • ||

    The idea that Mitt Mandate Romney has any chance to be the nominee is ridiculous. What's really sad is the fact that there are enough Brooks/Frum types in the GOP to give him double digits in the straw polls.

  • ||

    Your factual representations do not match known facts. For instance, the 440,000 people who are ostensibly on the dole as a result of Romneycare were on the dole before the bill. The only difference is that it is visible now because the taxpayers had to foot the bill for everyone that couldn't pay before the bill was enacted. In addition, you cite increased emergency room visits from 2004 to 2008 as a measure on ineffectiveness; however, the bill wasn't even passed until 2006, and took some time to be implemented. Last, you indicate that two years after reform took root that there was a lengthy waiting list for patient care. Again, as the bill was enacted almost five years ago, you should give some recent waiting times instead of at least two year old data.

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