Boston Herald on the two faces of Governor Deval Patrick.
Meet the two faces of Massachusetts health care.
First there’s Gov. Deval Patrick, who insists that Romneycare, aka Obamacare 1.0, is doing just fine in the Bay State.
When Treasurer Tim Cahill said that taking our health care system national could “wipe out the American economy within four years,” the Patrick administration scoffed. They quoted favorably a Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation report that found our version of health care reform costs less than 1 percent of the $27 billion state budget.
All’s well, says Patrick.
Then there are the folks hitting the panic button over the disastrous impact of our local Obamacare system. They’re implementing price controls on premiums and proposing radical plans like capitation to fight the surge in costs set off by Massachusetts “reforms.”
And leading the fight against the devastating effects of Obamacare on our local economy?
Gov. Deval “We’re Doomed!” Patrick.
So who’s right? The liberal gov who supports the massive health care scheme pushed by his friend Barack Obama? Or the embattled pol overseeing a $3 billion shortfall, the nation’s fastest-rising health costs and insurance firms already raising premiums while losing money?
And if you think Gov. Two-Face is confused, what about the rest of us? We can’t even get the straight dope on what “reform” is really costing us.
For despite all the happy talk, Patrick’s own office puts the cost of Commonwealth Care at 913 million tax dollars for next year. That’s far higher than the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation number they quoted last week. More important, it’s up from $133 million the first year the plan took effect.
And that’s just the cost of taxpayers subsidizing insurance. The state and federal government spend billions more providing health care through Medicaid, Medicare and other programs, and those costs have exploded since 2006 as well. The Rand Corp. found that “in the absence of policy change, health care spending in Massachusetts is projected to nearly double to $123 billion in 2020.”
In other words, our situation is ugly and getting uglier. And Patrick knows it, which is why he invoked his emergency powers to turn down health insurance rate increases. Unfortunately for Patrick, the reason for the hikes isn’t that insurance fat cats are cleaning up here. They need the hikes because our screwed-up system is driving costs through the roof.
Not only did Blue Cross lose money last year, but The Wall Street Journal reports that Massachusetts “insurers pay $1.12 in benefits for every $1 in premiums.”
Even the most ardent anti-corporation liberal has to admit firms can’t survive losing 12 cents on the dollar. Something’s gotta give.
This massive loss has led to health insurers now filing a lawsuit against the state to reverse the decision that would, in effect, ruin them and end up closing their doors.
A half-dozen health insurers yesterday filed a lawsuit against the state seeking to reverse last week’s decision by the insurance commissioner to block double-digit premium increases — a ruling they say could leave them with hundreds of millions in losses this year.
This is a story to watch because as goes Masscare, so goes Obamacare.
If the healthcare system in Mass. has put them in so much debt they cannot crawl out of it, is a small scope picture as to what Obamacare will do to our country.