Actually, the Massachusetts plan for health insurance reform, which passed in 2006 with bipartisan support and required everyone in the state to have health insurance or face penalties, seems almost modest compared to some of the things Obama and the current Congress are cooking up for us. The huge flaw it shares with Obamacare is an utter failure to account for where the money would be coming from to subsidize coverage for the then-uninsured [emphasis mine]:
In Massachusetts, the numbers never added up, as everyone involved in crafting the new law understood. But for a variety of reasons, ranging from Romney’s presidential aspirations to Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s longstanding commitment to healthcare reform, everyone smiled for the cameras and hoped for the best out of this noble experiment…
“They decoupled the access issue from the cost issue,’’ said Philip Johnston, chairman of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, which played a key role in expanding healthcare coverage here. “The lesson is, there needs to be a dedicated revenue source to support health reform.’’
Well, surprise, surprise, the funds haven’t magically dropped from the skies in the three years since the bill became law.
Are our politicians that stupid, or that naive, or that focused on votes and that contemptuous of the public’s ability to put two and two together? Or all of the above (except for the naivete)?
Joan Vennochi, who wrote the Globe op-ed I’ve been quoting here, has the following advice for Obama:
The president insists he can overhaul the healthcare system without adding to the deficit.
He should take this final lesson out of Massachusetts: Be honest about cost in the good times and make sure you can cover it in the bad.
This presumes that if Obama fails to do so he is either stupid or naive. I think he’s neither; I believe he knows full well what he’s doing and not doing, and has no intention of taking any lesson from Massachusetts—except, perhaps, for the one that says you can fool most of the people most of the time.
But Obama already knows that; he doesn’t need Massachusetts to tell him.