Governor Romney is backed into a corner.†
He is running for the White House. He knows Obamacare will be a major issue in the campaign. Has to be. A majority of the voters still disapprove of it. And guess what Obamacare was fashioned after? †Romneycare.†In Massachusetts, where and when he was governor.
You may be concerned about Mr. Romneyís fate in the upcoming campaign.† Or maybe you donít care what happens to him. Whichever way you feel, you may be a lot more concerned about the fate of Obamacare.†Paul Hsieh, writing for Pajamas Media thinks you will be.† After you read what has happened to Massachusetts under Romneycare you will be.
He writes that the Massachusetts Medical Society is unhappy with the governorís plan, now law. Because the average wait time there to see an internal medicine doc is now 48 days. That is double the national average.
He tells us that over half of primary care docs no longer accept new patients. They spurn patients covered by Romneycare insurance. Because it pays too little.
The politicians behind Romneycare boast that more people are covered by their insurance. Covered by it. But they cannot find docs who will treat them.
You have seen predictions that Obamacare would cost more than its creators promised. Already costs are leaping ahead. In Massachusetts there were similar promises and predictions about the costs of Romneycare. Well, the promises were wrong. The predictions were right. It is costing billions more than predicted only a few years ago.
Here are some painfully interesting statistics: Before Romneycare, prices in the state for medical insurance were going up at a rate that was 3.7 percent slower than the national average.
Today, under Romneycare, they are increasing 5.8 percent faster than the national average.
Ronald Reagan said that facts are stubborn things. Mr. Romney has to deal with some facts that have sunk their teeth into his ankles. He used to boast about his healthcare plan. He who lives by the boast sometimes has to die by the boast.
How are the stateís politicians planning to deal with these failures in their pet program? They are playing around with a tool called coercion. They are threatening to force doctors to accept the low rates the state insurance pays. If they donít accept them they donít get to practice in the state.
This is a sure-fire way of driving doctors from the state. Which would make things worse.
Another tactic they are considering is to limit how much money doctors and hospitals will get to treat a patient. No matter the complications. If they lose money on patients, they lose money. Tough.
That is guaranteed to send doctors packing too.
Should you worry?†Obamacare is fashioned after Romneycare. It will likely force prices higher. It will likely infuriate docs and create conditions in which they wonít provide care.
When that happens our politicians will resort to the same tactics that Massachusetts pols are resorting to now.
The prognosis ainít pretty. †††† †
From Tom ... as in Morgan.††††††††††††††††††
For more columns and for Tomís radio shows and new TV shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.