Once upon a time in 2004, Republican Governor Mitt Romney crossed party
lines to launch a public health care plan, which then suffered huge cost overruns
became what even liberals largely concede to be a failure. Every once
in a while conservatives will cite Massachusetts as a case against
national health care, or liberals will offer a tepid defense of the
state, but the disaster of Massachusetts remains just about the only
thing everyone agrees on. Except for a certain Republican presidential
hopeful, Mr. Mitt Romney, who passionately advocated
today for his state plan to go national.
Just how much of a failure was Massachusetts? Sally C. Pipes wrote a piece yesterday for Forbes called "MAss Disaster
that indicted Romney, his state reforms, and any attempts to make them
into a national system: "The big lie in Massachusetts was that costs
and taxes would not increase," she said. "If congressional Democrats get
their way, every American can look forward to a similar system of
capitation in the future."
Liberals agree. On a recent New Yorker podcast
on health care, Dorthy Wickendon condemned the state, saying, "Costs
are completely out of control and a state commission recently
recommended radically restructuring the way doctors and hospitals are
paid." Jerome Groopman agreed, calling the system "smoke and mirrors"
and saying, "The state is basically bankrupt and the hospitals are not
many instances, to care for people who are coming in with state-based
coverage." Even The New Republic, which pushes strongly for health care
reform, has called the idea of Massachusetts as a failure "consensus
such things do not deter Mitt Romney. "There's a
better way," he wrote in this morning's USA Today, referring to the current discussions on the issue. "And the lessons we learned in Massachusetts could help
Washington find it. No other state has made as much progress in
covering their uninsured as Massachusetts." Romney details
his health care reforms as governors, focusing on cost management.
concludes: "Health care is many times bigger than all the companies in
Jones combined. And the president is rushing changes that dwarf what
any business I know has faced.
Republicans are not the party of 'no' when it comes to health care
reform. This Republican is proud to be the first governor to insure all
his state's citizens."
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