Friday, March 21, 2008

Socialized Medicine In Massachusetts

Am I shocked? Not at all.

The state's new subsidized health insurance program will cost "significantly" more than the $869 million Governor Deval Patrick proposed in his 2009 budget just two months ago, the state's top financial official said yesterday, after insurers were granted an increase of about 10 percent.

To close the gap, the Patrick administration has asked insurers, hospitals, healthcare advocates, and business leaders to propose ways to cut costs and raise revenue...

Leslie Kirwan, secretary of administration and finance, declined yesterday to discuss specifics of the proposals or the size of the budget gap, but said that without changes, the state doesn't expect "to be able to live within" the proposed budget. (all boldface mine--Darren)

Raise revenue. That's fancy talk for raising taxes.

TANSTAAFL. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. You're not getting free health care, as you will pay for it. And you'll wait in longer and longer lines while the quality of care decreases, too--the Canadian system shows us that.

Extra Credit Assignment: How is Tennessee's state-run plan, TennCare, doing?

10 comments:

socalmike said...

P. J. O'Rourke said it best: If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.
It's comin', folks, and it scares the bejeebers out of me.

Ellen K said...

I predict that if the liberals win this election, we will see an increase on socialism on all sides. Nobody was ever truly well served by UK style healthcare. Hillary et al sort of overlook the tax levels in countries like Denmark and Sweden which pay for such things. Last time I looked the tax rate was 58%. And that was for EVERYONE. I wonder how many of those minimum wage earners are going to appreciate that tax hit?

allen (from Michigan) said...

You guys planning to move to France or something? Cripes, this reminds me of the hysterics on the other side of the aisle that attended the looming possibility of a Bush presidency.

There are some trends and forces which run counter to rose-colored dreams of socialists. There's a rising level of dissatisfaction with socialized medicine where it's the dominant/only form and there are technological changes which will undermine the case for socialized medicine.

The lefties here in the U.S. might, probably will, cut off one or two more slices of socialized medicine salami but win? I don't think so.

We already had one opportunity - HillaryCare - which elicited about two weeks of hysteria and then collapsed with a resounding thud. Socialism doesn't get better looking the more familiar you are with it, quite the opposite.

Darren said...

Sadly, Allen, too many people *don't* look at it. They get enamored with the word "free", they get a fat slob telling them how great medical care is in Canada, and that's about as much attention span as they have. Yes, *too* many people are like that. I work with some of them, and they're college-educated.

Cameron said...

I would personally much rather pay a portion of my paycheck towards healthcare, rather than have to pay all sorts of fees when I visit the doctor. Why's that? Medical fees are absolutely outrageous in this country. Horrendously disgustingly outrageous. My grandfather had a stroke two years ago, and a brain tumor about ten years ago, and although he's lived his life frugally while being an orthopedic surgeon, saving most of his money, my grandparents are now nearly out of money after paying so much in various fees and medications. It's terrible. My grandfather is not the only example. I know other examples, and so does every other person that I've asked about this.

I support such a system of taxation even though I can't remember the last time I went to the hospital not for a check-up or immunization. I completely think such a system is worth it, however, not only because I know I will be okay if I'm sick, but I know that others will be all right, too. I'm exceedingly healthy. The healthcare in this country, however, makes me afraid to become sick.

Have you watched Sicko yet? Don't criticize it before you see it. It's not political in the sense of his other films. Just watch what happens to people who have "coverage" in this country. It makes me want to throw up.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Who would have thunk it. You say something is free and strangely enough someone has to pay for it. I guess that means that the people who make the money will be the ones who get the free health care?

Darren said...

Cameron, click on the "socialism" link and read all about Canadian, British, and French socialized medicine. What model do you want to follow--or do you think that an American model will be problem-free in a way that those wacky Europeans and Canucks can't fathom?

allen (from Michigan) said...

Then how do you account for the collapse of HillaryCare?

Within a couple of weeks of the state of the Union and Bill Clinton waving that plastic card around, intoning "and it can never be taken away", the issue was dead. Sure there are plenty of people don't look at "it" with a critical eye, preferring instead to be swept away by one or more of the attractions of socialized medicine, but enough people did consider the credibility of something that sounded too good to be true to reject it.

In the intervening years I don't believe we've moved to the left as a nation. Rather, I'd say we've moved to the right. Evidence Hillary's problems with the extreme left. Evidence Obama's ditching of his virulently anti-American pastor. This isn't the general election yet, but the primary and neither can afford to appear too far to the left to the Democratic *base*. The race to the center in the Democratic party is a movement to the right. And John McCain's big problem is whether he's conservative enough. That doesn't bode well for ube-leftie policies like socialized medicine.

I'm not saying the lefties won't whack off another slice of salami. They've already gotten a slice from Bush with the drug entitlement much good as it did him.

But salami slices aren't what they're after. They want, to use another food analogy, the whole enchilada. I don't believe they'll get it and I don't believe they'll get it with a Democratic congress and a Democratic president.

Darren said...

Because these programs never go away once created, the left can afford to nickel and dime us. The country may not accept socialized medicine, but the 10% of the country that lives in the same state as I do might accept it, like it was accepted in Massachusetts.

Ellen K said...

Here's a story that goes along with that. Back twenty years ago, the state of Texas added two cents to the five cent per dollar sales tax. We were told that it was temporary. It's been around for that entire time. Once any tax is levied, it seldom disappears. And a tax like this where significant rises in costs would make increased taxes necessary to fund the system would nickel and dime us to death. If you want further proof, just look at Social Security, which probably won't even be there in ten years when I need it.