October 17, 2009

JUST ANOTHER REASON MITT IS A NON-STARTER:

Lessons from the Massachusetts healthcare experiment (James Oliphant and Kim Geiger, October 17, 2009, LA Times)

[I]nsurance premiums for most residents are going up, not down. Many middle-class people who had insurance before the overhaul see little change -- except that they're spending more. They're seeing little or no difference in the quality of their care.

In crafting their plan, Massachusetts lawmakers ducked the tough issues of cost control, including how much public and private insurers would pay physicians and hospitals. So the state still has some of the most expensive medical care in the U.S. And costs are rising faster than the national average. Far faster than wages too.

"What we did was health insurance reform, not healthcare reform," said Massachusetts state Sen. James Eldridge, a Democrat who regrets having voted for the bill.

Critics of the healthcare overhaul bill that passed the Senate Finance Committee this week say that it too doesn't do enough to control costs.

Robert Laszewski, a healthcare policy analyst and former insurance company executive, calls the finance panel's bill "Massachusetts all over again." Ralph Neas, of the National Coalition on Health Care, says that the few cost provisions focus too much on public programs, especially Medicare, and not enough on reducing what doctors, insurers and hospitals charge customers who get their coverage from the private market.

"The long-term cost-control provisions are few, and they do not have adequate enforcement mechanisms," Neas said.


The agenda isn't secret, just blind to reality.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 17, 2009 7:15 AM
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