Massachusetts Health Care Poses Warning for America

by Sal on March 17, 2009

in Politics

In 2006, Massachusetts enacted a form of universal health care, keeping private insurance, requiring all citizens to be insured, and offering a state-sponsored plan to low and middle-income people.  Now, three years later, the state of Massachusetts Health care presents a warning for the nation.

Since being enacted, the Massachusetts Health plan has insured 440,000 new people, the majority of which are on the government-sponsored plan.  The heavy increase of newly-insured have significantly increased health care demand and shortened supply, leading to the doctor shortages, especially of Primary Care Physicians.  This was to be expected, as it has been the case in all government health care systems such as Great Britain and Canada.  Now, it appears that the Massachusetts Health Plan is headed for insolvancy in five to ten years.  The legislature’s answer to this is to propose price controls. It is a fact of economics that government-mandated price controls never work.  They drive out innovation, lead to buerocratic situations, and will disincentivize doctors from coming to Massachusetts and from talented people from becoming doctors.

This is a warning for America.  Obama has mentioned his admiration for the Massachusetts policy when discussing his own health care plan.  Even if it starts, as he says, as simply offering a government insurance alternative, it will lead to the decrease in supply and increase in demand, thus creating a system that is not sustainable.  As each successive problem from the initial plan arises, the government will further sink its teeth into the private sector of health care, introducing price and wage controls, huge bureaucratic obstacles, and inefficiencies into the system.  What is currently the best health care system in the world will be reduced to a mediocre system that provides average health care for all instead of the superb health care for most that it does now.

Health Care does indeed have its problems, but the answer lies in the free market, not in government control.  Current problems with the health care industry can be traced back to the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s,  programs like SCHIP, and current tort law.  By removing many of the government-controlled obstacles, costs will be driven down and the vast majority of people will be able to afford their own care.  Those who can’t have never been turned away from a hospital, and that will continue.  Yet we are likely now to embark upon the hard-to-reverse path towards socialized medicine, by attempting, to quote our President “the failed policies of the past.”  The path we are on fits a definition of insanity — trying the same thing that has already been tried in Massachusetts and other socialized systems, yet expecting different results.  Let’s hope that America realizes that before it’s too late.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Mediocre Health Care for All in Massachusetts | Axis of Right
May 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm
In Massachusetts, Health Care is a Mess | Axis of Right
February 11, 2010 at 11:57 am
Get Ready for Health Care Rationing! | Axis of Right
April 13, 2010 at 10:24 am

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mark Kellen, MD May 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm

We could greatly improve our system overnight by allowing individual purchase of health insurance the same tax treatment as employer provided insurance. The second step would be allow cross state purchase of health insurance to eliminate the excessive mandates of some states.


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