Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Massachusetts Miracle?


-Haven’t heard that phrase since the Democrats nominated Michael Dukakis in 1988. Saw this story on Crooks and Liars the other day. In Massachusetts, where 98% of the population have health insurance under Romneycare, they’re about to get a cut in premiums for the second year in a row; five percent this time. This is stunning in an industry that is accustomed to automatic 10% annual increases.

I expect to hear a lot about this in a campaign year where GOP politicians use “repeal Obamacare” for a sure applause line. But they’re preaching to the choir. As Americans benefit from changes already brought by the Affordable Health Care Act, such as the end of denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, expanded coverage for young adults under their parent’s plans, the 50% discount for brand-name drugs for folks falling into the Medicare donut-hole, small business tax credits, and the 85% limit on insurer’s ‘medical loss ratio,’ which requires companies to spend at least 85% of premiums on actual health care, will Republican calls for repeal resonate with more than the small fraction of the electorate who vote in GOP primaries?

After ten years, Mass is showing the savings predicted for universal coverage. Could this promising development provide an alternative model to the price-shifting and patient-shafting market-based practices of our present catch-as-catch-can system?

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