Wednesday, October 19, 2011

RomneyCare© Floundering

"After three years of study, the state’s legislative leaders appear close to producing bills that would make Massachusetts the first state — again — to radically revamp the way doctors, hospitals and other health providers are paid." [emphasis added]

Not the brightest lights in the (Boston) harbor, are they?

As we've long noted, one of the biggest problems with RomneyCare© is that increasing the number of insureds means that demand for health care increases. And when demand increases, what did they think was going to happen to prices (given the fact that they're not exactly drowning in doc's)?

The plan that seems to be most likely to be implemented is a variation on the "global billing" model. Now, this has some advantages: for one thing, it seems likely to eliminate the problem of "hidden providers."

It's hoped that this method would essentially "crack the code" of increasing costs.

But will it?

Um, no:

There is no "secret code" to increasing health care costs. There is a finite, limited supply of health care providers and facilities, and they are all in business to make money (or at least not lose too much). When more people have third parties (eg insurers) paying the lion's share of their health care tab, they're going to demand more services. That leads directly to, oh what's that word?

Oh, yeah: rationing.

How do we know that the dim bulbs in Beantown have no clue?

Pretty obvious:

"Those who led the 2006 effort to expand coverage readily acknowledge that they deferred the more daunting task of cost control for another day ... Predictably, the plan did little to slow the growth of health costs that already were among the highest in the nation."


In fact, overall health care costs in the Bay State are 15% greater than the national average, while for the past couple of years, health insurance premiums there have risen upwards of 10% a year.

Rock, hard place, some assembly required.
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