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:
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.

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.
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.

5 comments:

OBloodyHell said...

>>>> In other words, ObamaCare might be worse than MassCare


No, I think this argument is attempting to go the other way:

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.

That's based on this reasoning:

Some supporters of the law hoped expenses would naturally fall as more people became insured, and sought more preventive, and less emergency, care.

Not saying it has any validity, but I'm sure that's what their response would be.

Since Mass already had more than the purported "typical" state, there was less room for improvement in this regard.

Easily proven/disproven by looking at various stats that I'd think ought to be available for most states:

a) What is the number, per capita, of the emergency room visits per state?

b) What percent of those visits are non-emergency cases?

c) What's the cost differential by using emergency rooms instead of urgent care or other facilities costing less during normal business hours?

You should be able to at least make a CASE one way or another, though clearly you'd be extending those figures to another state with a different mental makeup (some states probably have more people who will resist seeing a doctor until a crisis occurs, that kind of thing. Some states have more sheeple, some have more stubborn types by nature)

I don't think you can get a definitive argument from this, but you could certainly get an indicative one, as to whether it's likely to make a difference in terms of how much is "saved" by having more people suddenly dumped on the state medical expense rolls than happened in Mass.

Carl said...

OBH: I know that seems to be his reasoning. But, in fact, everything in Massachusetts got worse: costs, wait times and reliance on emergency rooms.

Warren said...

Romney should have anticipated these problems and others, of course. Did he forget he was working with a Democratic legislature? For example ...


"The Massachusetts law is different in important ways from the plan that Romney pushed as governor. Few voters know, for example, that Romney strongly opposed the employer mandate and wanted an escape from the individual mandate -- allowing people to instead be able to post a bond if they were uninsured and had big medical bills. When Romney signed the law, he believed it contained the escape hatch, but legislators removed it before final passage.

Romney vetoed eight provisions of the Massachusetts bill, and every one of his vetoes was overridden by the legislature. Should Romney have known this was likely? Yes. Should he have known exactly what he was signing? Absolutely."

That's not to say the idea was a good one to begin with.

One huge difference between O'care and R'care, people in Massachusetts were in favor of Romneycare when it passed.

Obamacare was passed despite the public's opposition.

Romney's still to blame for the monster.

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What are your thoughts about Mitt Romney as a GOP candidate?
What do you think about Obama and his chances for re-election?
What do you think will be the main issue in November election?
How do you think Social Media will play a role in this campaign? and can you compare it to Obama's campaign of 2008?
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Carl said...

Sergio:

Most of the answers to your questions are posted here. The social media will have little weight in this election; what matters are the "half votes"--that is, Obama voters in 2008 in swing states who decide to stay home this time. Super PACs only matter to the extent they get out the vote in those swing states (Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, maybe New Hampshire, maybe Iowa, maybe New Mexico).

The mainstream media is too busy drinking the Kool-Aid, or stronger, to focus on anything positive about Romney. Rather, the press -- said former Newsweek Editor Evan Thomas -- is "worth maybe 15 points" to the Democratic nominee."

By this time in 2008, Senator Obama had reported raising $262 million for his campaign. This time around, with no primary fight (and thus few expenses), President Obama's reported raising just under $200 million. And, in the end, I suspect that the President's Super PACs will spend no less (probably more) than Romney's Super PACs.

To put it bluntly, only the young follow social media, and the young don't vote. Older Americans follow social security and they vote.