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May
5

Congratulations Mitt!

In what will be one of the more entertaining episodes in Presidential campaigning, GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney will have to disavow his success in passing health reform in Massachusetts that now looks to be a major success.
Reform was intended to cover more people and reduce or at least mitigate cost increases.
While coverage did expand, for several years costs went up dramatically as well, leading some to point to the Mass “experiment” as a failure.
First, coverage. The latest data indicate 95% of citizens are insured, compared to 84% of the national population.
The latest information suggests those decrying the Mass reform may have been a bit premature in their assessment.
Small group insurance premiums were up just over one percent last quarter, the second quarter in a row where rates have gone up less than 2 percent. Moreover, two large health plans filed for rate decreases…
Why? What’s made this happen?
Glad you asked. According to Kaiser Health News/NP5,
“…two years ago, the governor directed his insurance commissioner to exercise a little-used power to turn down a requested rate increase because it was excessive. Not every state has this power.
Insurance companies were outraged. But [CEO Andrew} Dreyfus of Blue Cross Blue Shield now says it was a pivotal point.
“It sent a message to the entire health care community and the business community that we had to change,” Dreyfus says.
And change seems to be happening. Insurers have torn up their contracts with hospitals calling for annual reimbursement increases of 8 percent and 10 percent, and negotiated agreements providing for 3 percent, 2 percent and even zero percent increases.”
What does this mean for you?
While there’s no question governments can screw up lots of things in lots of ways, this appears to be one of those times where governmental authority, intelligently applied, is actually solving a problem.
What does this mean for Mitt?
Let’s see; if he takes credit for the result, he’ll be pilloried by the free market/Tea Partiers. Ouch.
If he says it doesn’t work, he’ll be, well, admitting he screwed up.
If he says it will only work in Massachusetts, he’ll be admitting other states aren’t able to fix this problem.


One thought on “Congratulations Mitt!”

  1. Romney does not want to acknowledge that he was once the governor of Massachusetts. The state does not exist; therefore, the health plan does not exist. Plain and simple.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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