While you’re pondering what that is going to mean for your dotage and the health care provided for your children, have a seat and prepare to get outside some of the facts purveyed by that Wall Street Journal story on “RomneyCare 2.0” from a couple weeks ago. (The full story may be available only to subscribers. What follows are highlights.)
The bottom line? “Surging costs, price controls, physican shortages” — all that and “so much else.”
The idea of RomneyCare, as with the “Affordable Care Act” (a.k.a. ObamaCare), is that it if insurance coverage were forced on everyone, costs would go down. More people, bigger pool, lower costs, right? Nope. Only lower quality of care, longer waits, more bureaucracy, and more abuse of the system.
– In Massachusetts, 79% of the newly insured are on public programs.
– Health costs — Medicaid, RomneyCare’s subsidies, public-employee compensation — will consume some 54% of the state budget in 2012, up from about 24% in 2001.
Let’s pause over that terrifying statistic: more than half of the state’s budget will be consumed by health care costs.
– Over the same period state health spending in real terms has jumped by 59%, while education has fallen 15%, police and firemen by 11% and roads and bridges by 23%.
There’s only so much dough to go around. As government-controlled medicine gobbles up more of the available resources, there is less to go around for other important services.
Yet more bad news:
– Massachusetts spends more per capita on health care than any other state and therefore more than anywhere else in the industrialized world.
Why? Because of the horrendous inefficiencies built into socialized medicine.
All this is bad for patients, i.e., you and me. But it is also bad, very bad, for doctors. Consider:
– Under the plan, all Massachusetts doctors, hospitals and other providers must register with a new state bureaucracy as a condition of licensure — that is, permission to practice. They’ll be required to track and report their financial performance, price and cost trends, state-sanctioned quality measures, market share and other metrics.
Were you thinking of setting out a shingle in Massachusetts as a GP, cardiologist, obstetrician, gastroenterologist, etc.? Bet you’ll think twice about that.