Let’s take a live look-in at how that health reform is going in Massachusetts.
“I’ve seen in recent weeks the rates of my small-business insurance group go up 55 percent,” said the self-employed attorney from Richmond. “I haven’t seen the reform that was touted in Massachusetts.”
Where is the outrage from the Commander in Grief?
During the two-hour hearing, several who spoke found the Massachusetts Health Care Reform legislators approved four years ago has done little to lessen health insurance costs for small businesses — even if they belong to a small-business insurance pool.
Realtor Barb Davis-Hassan of Pittsfield said she was “shocked” to find a better premium by directly negotiating with the insurance company, rather than being in a group.
Well, four years is just not enough time. Just give ’em a few more years, and then they’ll start bending that cost curve down! Maybe we should remind the folks in Massachusetts of this:
Karen Shreefter, a landscape designer from Great Barrington, has found it futile shopping for the “Every time I go looking for a deal, all [insurers] are within $50 of each other,” Shreefter said. “That’s not competition.”
Well, that’s what happens when you cartelize an industry. Governments stepping in to prevent monopoly by … creating a monopoly. More of that please!
I’m not getting a bargain through the commonwealth with a 22.5-percent premium increase,” noted Sutton.
Commonwealth Care is the state subsidized insurance option. Whew – just think of how much premiums would be increasing with true consumer based, market-based insurance?
And of course, banning options for employers is always a good thing.
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce and other business groups used to provide its members with health insurance plans, until the Legislature eliminated that option several years ago.
And when the government gets involved in the health care business, consumers get exactly what they want:
Mangiardi also want insurance plans tailored to her needs, not those of the insurer.”We are paying for drugs and drugs and drugs, when we don’t take any,” she said. “The biggest drug pusher in the commonwealth — is the commonwealth.”
And the solution to these and other cost problems in Massachusetts? Of course, to simply throw up some pixie dust:
Patrick, who unveiled his plan on Feb. 10, also called for legislation allowing state insurance regulators to negate health insurer rates that are significantly above the consumer price index for medical services
Great. So you set up a system to eliminate competition, mandate coverage, exacerbate the community rating problem, get more people into the insurance pool, and then when costs increase you scream, SCREAM, to tell those darn costs to stop rising.
And lo and behold, even in the land of the unfree, even in the Bluest state in the union, there is still someone arguing that people should be responsible for taking care of themselves:
Besides lower health insurance premiums, local small-business owners want incentives for promoting a healthy lifestyle and stop subsidizing health care for Massachusetts residents who fail properly care for themselves.
“People need to be more responsible for their own health,” said Lisa Boyd, a Pittsfield consultant.
I’d remind readers one more time. Massachusetts is richer than most states. Massachusetts is healthier than most states. Massachusetts had far few uninsured than most states. Yet this reform is a disaster. I really can’t wait to see how much worse it gets in the next 5 years.