Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Health Care Plan Already Seeing Dividends

The Massachussets Health care plan is already doing it's job. According to a news study the state uninsurted rate has fell 19% or from 460,000 to 372,000. The Boston Globe Reports:

Governor Mitt Romney attributed the improvement to growth in jobs and to the state's aggressive efforts to enroll more poor residents in the state-federal Medicaid program. Most of the gains appeared to have preceded the launching in July of a state law intended to cover most of the state's uninsured by next summer.

That makes sense. Most people who need a law to get them to purchase health coverage will wait until the law takes effect. This does show Romney's effort are already working.

Another surprise was MA rise in employer health care plans:

But some advocates for the uninsured and health policy specialists said they were surprised by the magnitude of the drop shown by the survey, particularly since national data have shown that employers have scaled back coverage for their employees amid soaring premiums. The Massachusetts survey showed the opposite, that 83 percent of insured residents now get coverage through their employer, compared with 79 percent in 2002.

Some other statistics look very promising also:

The new survey found that the number of uninsured children had fallen to 2.5 percent, from 3.2 percent, while the number of uninsured adults under age 65 had dropped to 8.7 percent, from 10.6 percent. The number of uninsured residents dropped in every region in the state, officials said.

The officials credited employers for adding 58,000 new jobs in the past 2 1/2 years, and the state's expansion of Medicaid, some of which was required by the new health insurance law.

About 50,000 poor residents have been enrolled in Medicaid in the past year alone.

These statistics do look very promising. And it is no wonder why it is catching on with medical experts. This article out of US News Wire has senior fellows at the National Policy center seeing the Wisdom in Romney's plan:

"Instead of turning to taxpayers to solve the uninsured problem, we should use the free care money taxpayers are already providing to subsidize the purchase of private insurance," said Devon Herrick, senior fellow with the NCPA. "This is precisely what Mitt Romney is trying to do in Massachusetts."

While estimates vary, free care spending on the full-time uninsured range from $1,049 to a high of $1,548. At this rate, federal, state government and physicians and non-profit hospitals spend as much as $6,000 on charity care per uninsured family of four. In most states, that is enough to purchase a private insurance policy.

In addition, the NCPA noted the uninsured pay higher taxes because they do not receive the tax subsidies of employer- provided health insurance. However, their higher taxes are sent to Washington, DC, while the free care is provided locally.

"We should allocate the higher taxes the uninsured pay to any free care they require due to their inability to pay their medical bills," said Herrick

Would this be a plan Romney would support for the Nation? I don't know. But it is good to see that Romney's plan is taking effect and beggining to change the debate on Health Care from a socialistic Universal Health Care plan to one that focuses on the personal responsibility with a more effective spending approach to tax dollars.


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