Want an indication of how well Obamacare is going to work on the national level? One need look no farther than the current expenditures in Massechusetts, where five years of Romneycare foretells what will happen with national healthcare, with their state’s surging costs, price controls, physician shortages and many other problems.
The claim that everyone having insurance would reduce costs is simply not true. The state, after one and a half year of debate has already passed cost containment measures and total medical control of public and private practice of doctors in the state!
Sure enough, 79% of the newly insured are on public programs. Health costs—Medicaid, RomneyCare’s subsidies, public-employee compensation—will consume some 54% of the state budget in 2012, up from about 24% in 2001. Over the same period state health spending in real terms has jumped by 59%, while education has fallen 15%, police and firemen by 11% and roads and bridges by 23%.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts spends more per capita on health care than any other state and therefore more than anywhere else in the industrialized world. Costs are 27% higher than the U.S. average, 15% higher when adjusted for the state’s higher wages and its concentration of academic medical centers and specialists.
Doctors can’t even obtain a license without joining the state bureaucracy that will monitor their performance, price controls, etc. An 11 member Health Policy Commission will set and enforce rules to ensure that total Massachusetts health spending, public and private, grows no more than what the commission approves.
As the commission polices the market, it can decide to supervise the behavior of any provider that exceeds some to-be-specified individual benchmark—that is, doctors and hospitals that are spending too much on patient care. These delinquents must submit a “performance improvement plan” that the commission must endorse. (rationing)
Washington has never gone as far as Boston is now going, installing itself as the arbiter of care in order to redesign care, though under ObamaCare it’s only a matter of time. Everyone agrees that the health system needs to deliver medicine more efficiently and be more accountable, but accountable to whom? The answer for the political rulers of medicine, if not patients, is always: government.
Anyone who doesn’t believe that Obamacare will result in increased costs and rationing of medical care is not dealing with reality.