Health Reform Gone Wrong


Last month, I pointed out that health-care reforms at the state level have not been terribly successful. One of the states I looked at was Maine, which promised in 2003 that all 128,000 of the state's uninsured citizens would be covered by 2009. But $155 million later, only about 3,400 are covered through the state's public insurance option, and the rate of uninsured has stayed roughly the same. Today, the New York Times takes look at the troubled reform efforts, many of which mirror national proposals now in Congress, and concludes:

Maine's history is a cautionary tale for national health reform. The state could never figure out how to slow the spiraling increase in medical costs, hobbling its efforts to offer more people insurance coverage. Many on Capitol Hill have criticized national reform legislation for similarly doing little to tame costs.

Whole thing here.

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  1. Maine had 128,00 uninsured citizens in 2003? Any assertion regarding the number of uninsured should be met with an unambiguous, unequivocal, "prove it!"

  2. The state could never figure out how to slow the spiraling increase in medical costs

    If you have insurance, costs don't matter.


  3. Wrong headline. The headline should read "Statist Health Reform Remedy Performing Exactly as Predicted."

  4. Yep- the only problem is that this bureaucracy is too small. If we roll out failed practices from Maine, Massachusetts, Conneticut and Kentucky, but MAKE THEM BIGGER, the increased government would make them work perfectly!

  5. Id say its about time to hit it up dude

    Okie Dokie dude

  6. Anonymity Guy, you've already been hitting it* up today, haven't you.

    *black tar heroin

    1. You can always tell. He's even less lucid than normal.

  7. M$155 for 3400 people actually insured approaches $50,000 a piece.

    Looking at it the other way:M$155 for 120k people (or fewer see LibertyMike's post) comes to a bit more than $1200 per individual. BTW--how does that compare to the cost of private insurance in Maine?

    Couldn't they just have done better by cutting checks?

    But don't worry government intervention is going to make health care less expensive. Trust us.

  8. When is Chad or Tony going to chime in?

    1. Blah, blah, blah... Europe is awesome... blah, blah... Obama tastes like sunshine and rainbows... libertarians are teh evil... blah, blah...

      1. 5 out of 10

        extra points for brevity though

  9. The article's defense of why the failed Maine program has to be done bigger including rolling out the monopoly insurer excuse-- even though Anthem's rates are, of course, heavily regulated, and even though the current reform bill doesn't allow purchasing insurance from other states.

  10. If it has to be pointed out again, fine, I'll point it out again:

    The people pushing ObamaCare or similar reforms are NOT primarily interested in improving access to and quality of health care. To these folks, government control of the healthcare sector IS the goal; they believe that the system needs "someone in charge", and evaluate the merit of any proposal based on the degree of centralized control it provides. They believe that all the positive outcomes we'd all like to see (lower costs, improved access and quality) follow necessarily from government control.

    They don't take seriously any evidence to the contrary; for these folks, the idea that the government can fix healthcare is pretty much an article of religious faith.

    1. There be truth.

  11. Couldn't they just have done better by cutting checks?

    Every buy-whatever-for-whomever program would "work" (fulfill its claimed aim)better that way.

    But none of them would work that way. Only whoever pays would find their livelihoods subject to "democracy," and only marginally. That's not enough.

    Rape for all! (Except rapists.)

  12. Xeonoes, he'd be more coherent. I'm thinking he's been huffing paint.

    1. Xeones, even.

      1. Anon-guy's been huffing Xeones?

  13. Now, you see, the state-level reforms don't work because people can still go elsewhere. That's why we need the Federal Government to make everybody get the same insurance.

    1. Pesky citizens, voting with their feet.

  14. Pesky citizens, voting with their feet.

    If we build a big wall, we can keep them from doing that.

    1. At least the healthy ones. Old geezers and gimps are free to go.

  15. Favorite line:

    After years of studying and suffering from these trends, Mr. White, the mechanic from Bar Harbor, said he has concluded that Maine's last best hope is a national health care overhaul.

    Translation: Maine's best hope is to get people from other states to pay for Maine's health care desires.

  16. It's hilarious that the article is rife with examples of unintended consequences and beauracratic failures and yet they fail or refuse to see that the main problem is the attempt at central planning. Hilarious or frightening.

  17. The state could never figure out how to slow the spiraling increase in medical costs,

    Duh. Because stopping spiraling medical costs would entail not paying for things. Which leftists refuse to do, because they think that people have a "right" to them.

    The left will NEVER be able control medical costs. They are mentally incapable of it.

  18. Hi,

    I am an outreach coordinator for the health videos website.

    I wanted to add to the discussion by offering up some videos for those of you looking for more information on health care reform. We have three topics pages about health care, one is specifically about policy, one is about the current reform efforts and finally, one features videos discussing the politics of it all.



    Check out these videos for answers to your questions, and check back daily for updates and new information!


  19. Can someone please remind my why someone else's health care costs or medical problems are any of my concern? Because given the obvious answer ("they're not, and shouldn't be"), it would seem possible to drastically shorten the whole "health care reform" debate.

  20. If it was Joe the plumber criticising national health care, they'd be saying, "what the hell does a plumber know about health care."

    But since Joe the auto mechanic is in favor of national health care, he's treated like a noble savage who's just not bright enough to fix the problem. That's why we need the feds involved.

    Of course if he wasn't on 7 health boards, he might have enough time to find an alternative for himself and his employee with time left over to make enough money to pay for it.

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