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That would be the public health insurance program in tiny Maine. Here is what it promised

In 2003, the state to great fanfare enacted its own version of universal health care … , it would cover all of Maine’s approximately 128,000 uninsured citizens. System-wide controls on hospital and physician costs would hold down insurance premiums. There would be no tax increases. The program was going to provide insurance for everyone and save businesses and patients money at the same time.

6 Years Later and Here is What it Has Delivered:

The system that was supposed to save money has cost taxpayers $155 million …¬†Instead of 128,000 uninsured in the program today, the actual number is just 3,400. Despite the giant expansions in Maine’s Medicaid program and the new, subsidized public choice option, the number of uninsured in the state today is only slightly lower that in 2004 when the program began …

And of course it was sold as being budget neutral with a promise of no new taxes:

Last year, DirigoCare was so desperate for cash that the legislature broke its original promise of no tax hikes and proposed an infusion of funds through a beer, wine and soda tax, similar to what has been floated to pay for the Obama plan. Maine voters rejected these taxes by two to one. Then this year the legislature passed a 2% tax on paid health insurance claims.

Like in Tennessee, or the USSR, or the countless other places this stuff is tried, I am sure this was just an anomaly and is still working out the kinks. In any case, I do not write this in order to persuade you that government involvement in health is a bad idea (it is from my perspective) but rather that you be honest with yourselves and others about the limits of what such involvement can accomplish and what it really costs. I think about it like I think of my 3 year old daughter. She likes to slide our coffee table over near the couch and jump. No matter what I tell her about how dangerous it is she will not listen. No matter how many times I show her bruises on her brother from doing the same thing, or from stitches I narrowly avoided getting when I once enjoyed doing the same thing, she still does not listen. So I let her do it. And she inevitably bangs a knee, bumps her head, or otherwise gets her noggin rocked. She cries. After making sure her limbs are still attached … I do not console her.¬† The difference between my family’s story and those who salivate at the idea of making me pay for their health care … is … well …

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