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POLICY: Massachusetts Set to Offer Universal Health Insurance

Today’s hot news is that Massachusetts is set to move to Universal Health Insurance via a universal individual mandate and subsidies for the poor. This is a good start.

Then when everyone’s paying into the system the next step is to mandate community rating and get a proper set of cross-subsidies in place. Finally, once the plans have got everyone in the system, and can’t play them off against each other, they’ll have to turn to seeing what they can do about the provider costs.

If the national system did it that way, it wouldn’t be so bad. After all, it worked in Japan and Germany.

Of course like most politicians Romney doesn’t quite understand what’s coming next.

Governor Romney, who is considering running for president in 2008, said in an interview today that the bill, passed by a legislature that is 85 percent Democratic, was "95 percent of what I proposed." He said, "This is really a landmark for our state because this proves at this stage that we can get health insurance for all our citizens without raising taxes and without a government takeover. The old single-payer canard is gone."

Either the insurers will not be regulated, and the market will implode with under-insured replacing the uninsured, and consumers and providers will be equally grumpy as it’ll all have been a head-fake. Or the insurers will be properly regulated in time, and the approach I suggest will be inevitable. And frankly that’s close enough to single payer for me to be happy so long as Mitt is….

Do any of my Mass readers have a comment or two?

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Andrew LynchkarlKingUGACheryl's OfficeDontVoteRomney Recent comment authors
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Andrew Lynch
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Andrew Lynch

I grew up in Ottawa (Ontario) and now live in Calgary (Alberta) – and I’m 52 years old. I’m pretty healthy, but I’ve had accidents in my life and a few illnesses. The care i”ve had was not only excellent (including ECG scans, Xray’s, blood tests, etc), and the diagnostic skills were also leading edge), but this was also supported by a lot of human care. The doctors, nurses and other health care people that cared for me never seemed grudging about taking care of me – they were also under the same plan as I was – maybe it… Read more »

karl
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karl

No, for the government to provide healthvare would be an aweful idea. People dont realize that if that is the plan then we would have to pay for it anyway through taxes. And if that wasn’t so then they would cut funding in other important areas like welfare or school funding. Also for the government to provide healthcare nothing would be done well. Think about how many government services that the government has right now that dont run nearly as smoothly as we had ever hoped. Such as the U.S. income tax system when they first provided It collected just… Read more »

KingUGA
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KingUGA

Cheryl’s Office…If you are in Massachusetts I would be able to help you with cost containment health coverage for your employees. email: SecondBomb@aol.com if you want to discuss.

Cheryl's Office
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After many years of managing large organizations in the corporate world I started my own small business five years ago. I have struggled to offer a solid health care plan for my employees. We have had steady growth over the years, but not the cost of health care has grown even faster. Do you know of any states that offer a subsidized small business health care plan like Arkansas?

DontVoteRomney
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DontVoteRomney

I am 37 years old and make 10.40 an hour. I cannot afford health insurance and won’t be getting it. Romney’s stupid law is going to make me even more poor next year. I hope he is happy.
I have not been to a doctor since I was 16 and even when I needed one I just didn’t go.

BSteenz
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BSteenz

I agree with sickofsicko. There are flaws in every system, and there isn’t a perfect answer for any problem. Sure, universal coverage would look great on paper, but would it actually be executed like it is on paper? Communism was a great idea on paper, but human nature took over in the long run, and corruption happened. I’m not saying that universal health care would be corrupt, but wouldn’t it end motivation to do research for future medical treatments? If a doctor isn’t be paid as much, won’t they stop working? Doesn’t that explain the long lines in Canada? A… Read more »

MarchOnTheFed
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MarchOnTheFed

I don’t think healthy people should be forced to pay for sick people’s medication. If Ron Paul is elected, everyone will have more money to pay their medical bills and donate to charitable organizations to help the underpriveleged. Restore the Constitution! Vote Ron Paul in the primaries! http://www.RonPaul2008.com

sickofsicko
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sickofsicko

I believe that the US health care system and countries with universal health care both definetely have their flaws. No system is ever perfect. I think one of our biggest issues in the US system is the outrageously high cost for medical care. However, I feel one of the biggest flaws of the universal health care system are the ridiculous waiting list. If Canada’s system is so perfect and efficient, then why are so many Canadians trying to obtain private health insurance and coming to the US to have life saving surgeries performed? I really don’t think the American people… Read more »

Mike - DFA
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Democracy for America is spearheading a Health Care for America Campaign.
Congressman from coast to coast will be getting knocks on their doors from various groups and people, who we’re backing, and they’ll be forced to hear us out.
To find out what we’re up to, visit: democracyforamerica.com/healthcare

DrJeff
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If Universal Health Care is ever passed everyone will have health coverage but there will be no more doctors to take care of them. If you don’t believe me do your own survey. Call the doctors in your area and ask if they accept medicaid. You will soon discover that very few doctors accept the government sponsored health plans. Why is this? Because doctors that see patients with the government sponsored plans lose money. It cost the practice money to see madicaid patients. Do you really think any type of Universal Health Care will be any better? No way! If… Read more »

First Europa NL
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Uw online verzekeringsmakelaar Eerst Europa Doelstellingen: De Ci2i Verzekering (Ci2i) zal het nummer een gebrandmerkte pan Europese commoditized online verzekeringsmakelaar door 2010 zijn.

Chiu RN
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Chiu RN

America needs universal health care coverage. No argument there. The big question is who should pay for it? BusinessWeek recently published the top 50 performing stocks in the U.S. and 4 out of the 50 were managed care companies (e.g., United HealthCare)! Between the 4 companies, they posted net revenues of $15B. Can we all imagine how the rest of the managed care companies are profiting? Any one can figure how to profit off the insurance scheme: Massive premiums in, minimum payments out. No wonder hospitals are in such sad financial shape. I say let the fed gov’t mandate that… Read more »

tom kabele
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tom kabele

Regarding Universal Coverage and the UK NHS Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Tim Russert of Meet the Press convinced me that the UK National Health System was a good alternative to the U.S. system. In answer to a question by Mr. Russert Ms. Thatcher noted that UK health insurance costs were very low compared to other European countries and that the low cost was a competition advantage to the UK. The UK NHS system is different, however, from the US. Social Security system – as the following chart shows: United Kingdom NHS US social security Staff Model HMO PPO Defined… Read more »

Randy
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Randy

“The Mass. premiums are about 2-10 times as high as premiums from capitalist states like CA and CT.” That’s flat out BS, and I challenge you to prove it. The only purpose for saying something like that is to serve as a scare tactic…like the Harry and Louise ads of the early 90’s.As far as repealing guaranteed issue and community rating, that won’t work either. Universal healthcare paid thru everybody’s taxes is THE only solution to the escalating medical crisis which binds employees to their jobs, causes workers to seek large employers, etc.To be honest, I don’t feel that health… Read more »

tom kabele
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tom kabele

As an actuary with 35 years of experience I have concerns about the unfairness of guaranteed issue (“uni health”) and community rating (“uni age” and “uni sex”) — which I think are continued under the Massachusetts revisions. Basically self employed person A owes NOTHING to self employed person B or small business person C — that is nothing more than anyone else in Massachusetts owes to B and C. It is unfair to ask small business and self employed persons to pay for all the sick people including: (1) those who are too sick to continue to work for larger… Read more »