Health care math does not add up

Joan Vennochi:

THE FUZZY math behind the Massachusetts universal healthcare law is starting to add up - just as Washington studies the law as a possible model for the nation.

Because of a recession-related drop in state revenues and a surge in enrollment by the recently unemployed, the truth is emerging at an inconvenient time. Massachusetts doesn’t have enough money to pay for the coverage envisioned by the law.

In June, state officials announced they are cutting $100 million from Commonwealth Care, which subsidizes premiums for needy residents. The poorest residents, along with the newest - legal immigrants - will take the hit.

This outcome is not surprising, but it is instructive as President Obama pushes for a national healthcare plan.

On the day that Republican Governor Mitt Romney, for once, made Bay State Democrats happy, by signing the sweeping new healthcare bill into law, the Globe headline said it all: “Joy, worries on healthcare. As Romney signs bill, doubts arise about revenues.’’

In Massachusetts, the numbers never added up, as everyone involved in crafting the new law understood. But for a variety of reasons, ranging from Romney’s presidential aspirations to Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s longstanding commitment to healthcare reform, everyone smiled for the cameras and hoped for the best out of this noble experiment.

...


There was a similar failure in Tennessee. The Democrats plan will also be a massive failure for the US government causing uncontrolled spending and rationing of care. It will be a lose-lose situation for the country and for those relying on it for health care.

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