Government

Is Massachuetts headed toward a single payer system?

Is there is a solution to health care costs and quality? Apparently there is a simple solution, just have government – run the entire system, just like Medicare.

The following is from a newspaper in Massachusetts.  I guess what MA has already done is insufficient. A State representative has introduced legislation for a single-payer system. Throwing out a few platitudes about quality and affordability sounds good and gets some people excited, but it is hardly effective management of the health care system. There is no evidence that a single payer system makes health care affordable, improves quality or reduces costs (especially without numerous unintended consequences). With regard to Massachusetts, their current system has yet to prove itself beyond expanding coverage – much like the Affordable Care Act.

As I have said many times, when a politician makes outrageous promises, make sure you ask exactly how they will be met.

Last update Dec 31, 2011 @ 04:51 PM

Touting dramatic reductions in health care costs, improved access to health care for all residents and a boost to local businesses, state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, has filed a bill that would create a single-payer health care system for Massachusetts. The bill, heard by the Joint Committee on Health Care Finance, would establish a universal public insurance plan covering all medically necessary care. This plan would function for residents younger than 65 much the way Medicare does for residents 65 and older, but without premiums or co-payments, according to Eldridge’s office. “If Massachusetts is serious about reducing health care costs for families, businesses and state and local governments, we need to stop tinkering at the edges of a broken system and enact a single-payer healthcare system,” Eldridge said. “It’s the only reform that would truly reduce costs in a substantial way, eliminating medical debt and bankruptcies while guaranteeing access to quality, affordable health care as a right for all residents of the Commonwealth.”

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5 replies »

  1. “Nothing happening, folks; move on!,” as the old beat cop used to say. The single-payer idea has been proposed here in Massachusetts for about 20 years. No politician seriously considers the idea viable (possibly because many are in the tank to the insurers). The legislators let their goo goo supporters have a hearing on the subject once a year on New Year’s Eve when no one is paying attention. That’s why you saw the news article dated December 31.

    What is interesting is the extent to which the Massachusetts single-payer organization has dissected, pretty accurately, all that is wrong with RomneyCare (which of couse is the template for PPACA). See http://byrondennis.typepad.com/masshealthstats/2011/11/left-vs-left-in-romneycare-truth-o-meter-leaves-mittmaniacs-wrong-but-way-to-right.html

  2. As I see it, here are the key words in the article “all medically necessary care” and “without premiums or co-payments”. Who determines medical necessity and how does a perverse incentive make health care affordable?

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