ObamaCare Clusterfuck: RomneyCare has not controlled costs
Maine AllCare's Dr. Phillip Caper, Bangor Daily News:
Since Americans view health care as a business, we’ve allowed our health care system to become populated by thousands of profit seeking companies (some nominally nonprofit), each trying to maximize profits and competing for a larger share of an ever-growing pie. Many of these private businesses are heavily subsidized by tax-supported health care programs and tax breaks. So far, we have been unwilling to put any effective restraints around the growth of this huge pot of gold.
This is not a failure of capitalism or corporations, They are simply doing what they are supposed to do — create wealth for their owners. It’s a massive failure of public policy. It’s the fault of all of us, including our political leaders, for failing to put any meaningful constraints around our health care system to keep it affordable for everybody.
The result has been the creation of a gargantuan medical-industrial complex that has become the pac-man of public and private budgets. It is riddled with inefficiency and waste including unjustifiably high prices and excessive use of lucrative services and products, many of them without demonstrated value or downright harmful,.
The Affordable Care Act begins to make some timid efforts at addressing this problem. Nobody I know thinks they will be sufficient. After seven years of “RomneyCare” (after which the Affordable Care Act was patterned), Massachusetts now has almost everybody insured, but it has the highest health care costs of any state in the country. Some public figures there are beginning to suggest moving toward a statewide single-payer system.
As I’ve written before, the market forces the ACA is trying to harness have not, will not and cannot solve this problem. As most other wealthy countries have done, we need to channel the many existing health care revenue streams together into a single funnel with a publicly managed flow-control valve, and then muster the political will to use it. That is what our neighbors in Vermont are now in the process of trying to do.
And clearly, Massachusetts has done better than ObamaCare will, since even ObamaCare advocates say it will only cover half the uninsured.