Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blind Ambition

Remember Mitt Romney? The good looking guy who had his sights set on a house on Pennsylvania Avenue. Native son of the former Michigan governor. Family man. Chief architect of RomneyCare.

It seems like those who have eyes on the presidency are all talking about making health care available and affordable for everyone.

If Taxachussetts can make headlines for having one of the highest percentage of citizen's with health insurance, why not the rest of the country?

Anyone making campaign promises and pointing to the "success" of Massachusetts might want to look at the facts.

Since legislation was passed in 2006 mandating health insurance coverage for all citizens the number of uninsured have dropped from 657,000 to 307,000.

A success, right?

Among these 350,000 newly covered people, some 174,000 joined Commonwealth Care, a government-supported plan that insures families of four up to 300 percent of the federal poverty line, or roughly $63,000 in annual income. Another 55,000 people joined Medicaid, which is funded by local and federal tax dollars. Only about 18,000 have purchased private insurance.

That means 332,000 opted for health insurance funded by taxpayers.

Folks who make up to $63,000 per year.

Before the legislation, taxpayer funded plans were available but not mandated.


Pacific Research Institute's Sally Pipes writes that "the program is in intensive care, surviving only on massive infusions of other people's money."

How much is massive?

RomneyCare should cost taxpayers $625 million in 2008. That's $153 million, or 32 percent, beyond this year's original $472 million appropriation. For 2009, costs may hit $869 million, or another $244 million, 39 percent premium above today's already vertiginous spending curve.

Well it's only money, right?

Unfortunately, Massachusetts's residents love "free" and cheap health care, at someone else's expense. As usual these days, everybody parties, and then taxpayers spend the next morning collecting the empty bottles and cleaning the overflowing ashtrays. This mop-up will cost at least $129 million in new taxes

Toga! Toga! Toga!
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