The 2006 Massachusetts law didn't directly take aim at health-care costs, and economists say evidence suggests that it hasn't altered the trajectory of health-care spending in the state, which has long been among the priciest for reasons including its high cost of living and prestigious medical centers. Some supporters of the law hoped expenses would naturally fall as more people became insured, and sought more preventive, and less emergency, care.In other words, ObamaCare might be worse than MassCare. Absent some limits on the scope of Congress's power to "regulate Commerce," we're doomed.
The year before it passed, Massachusetts already had the nation's second-highest health spending level, after the District of Columbia, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In 2009, the most recent year available, it held the same ranking, with per-capita spending of $9,278, up 3.9% from the year before. The national rate rose 3.8% that year.
"If there is any lesson [for the national health care law] it is that you're not going to see a major change in your trend line," said Stuart Altman, an economist at Brandeis University. He cautioned that it's hard to compare Massachusetts to other states because the Bay State already had a high rate of insured citizens, meaning far fewer new insured people come into the system than might in other states.
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Chart of the Day
"RomneyCare" passed in 2006. It promised, and largely delivered, universal health insurance coverage--just as ObamaCare promises. The Massachusetts law resembles ObamaCare in another way, says the May 5th Wall Street Journal: