The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Before President Obama uses what some call the “nuclear option” and others call “reconciliation” to force health care legislation on a country that doesn’t want it, he might be better served to develop a pilot project to ensure that his ideas work.

No matter that the Obamacare proposal will do little if anything to reduce costs—in fact, if we look at his ideas rationally, they’re likely to increase costs and dramatically increase our long-term deficit. But forget all of that. Wouldn’t it be prudent to create a pilot project to demonstrate the worthiness of his ideas? You know, pick one state and try his health care reform ideas out before committing to an unproven plan for the entire country?

Wait a minute! That’s been done—in the bluest of blue states—Massachusetts. Odd that our President doesn't mention it.

Michael Graham talks about the results:
In defending his decision to go nuclear, Obama talked about insurance company “abuses.” He talked about premium hikes in California. He talked about a sick mom in Wisconsin. He even talked (in extremely modest ways) about Republican ideas like tort reform and fighting Medicare fraud.

What Obama didn’t mention was Massachusetts.

In fact, despite having given (based on my calculations) some 57,432 speeches, press conferences, pep talks, pillow talks and interpretive dances on health care in the past 12 months, Obama somehow manages to leave us out of nearly every conversation.

This is telling, because we’re the one state already glowing in the radioactive haze of Romneycare, aka “ObamaCare: The Beta Version.”

Shouldn’t Obama have been bragging yesterday about bringing the benefits of Bay State reform to all of America?

As we prepare to wander into this coming nuclear winter of hyper-partisan politics - one in which we’re almost certain to see widespread political fatalities among congressional Democrats - I have to ask: If bringing Massachusetts-style “universal coverage” to America is worth this terrible price, why doesn’t Obama at least mention us once in awhile?

Maybe he thinks of us as the Manhattan Project of medical insurance reform. Too top secret to discuss. More likely, it has something to do with the nightmare results of this government-run debacle. Here are a few “highlights” of the current status of the Obamacare experiment in Massachusetts:

It’s exploding the budget: Our “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget for 2010. Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

It’s killing us on costs: Average Massachusetts premiums are the highest in the nation and rising. We also spend 27 percent more on health care services, per capita, than the national average. Those costs, contrary to what we were promised, have been going up faster here than nearly everywhere else.

It’s creating bizarre marketplace mutations: In Massachusetts, ObamaCare 1.0 is such a mess our governor is talking about imposing draconian price controls.

He’s even suggested going to “capitation,” a system where doctors get a fixed amount of money per patient - and then that’s it. Which means it would become in your doctor’s financial interest never to see you again.

All this damage to the taxpayers, the insured and the responsible business owners . . . and for what?

The percentage of uninsured Bay State residents has gone from around 6 percent to around 3 percent.

In other words, it’s a dud.

So let’s see, the Obamacare Beta has not been a resounding success. It’s busting the state budget of Massachusetts and spiraling costs out of control. It’s leading to price controls for insurance companies and doctors and that means shortages of both in the long run (government mandated price controls never work).

If a competent and experienced executive at a software company released a Beta version and encountered serious problems, he’d never roll-out the product to the marketplace. He’d spend the time to do it right, or maybe do it over again. But that’s what a competent and experienced executive would do. With each passing week, it becomes increasingly evident that Barack Obama has neither of those characteristics.