IF I were to ever become Governor of Massachusetts with a Republican majority (like that will happen in my lifetime), I would spend the first 100 days repealing destructive, math-challenged legislation and policies.
Personally, I’d start with the Healthcare Reform Act of 2006…
We are already well into the new fiscal year, and negotiations with the federal government continue over whether it will renew the waiver that facilitated the Commonwealth’s healthcare experiment in the first place. It might be useful to remember that no matter how conceptually interesting, even idea-based reforms face the logic of mathematics. They have to be affordable.
The problem is that we got universal healthcare (that people and businesses are forced to participate in), and the same kind of government hacks who forecast the Big Dig’s costs, told us we could afford to cover everyone.
I find it sad we had to implement it statewide before they took the time to add up the figures. I thought they were the smarts ones.
To remain cost-neutral to the federal government, we have to address this year’s shortfall of $153 million and a minimum shortfall of $184 million next year. In the long term, there are several things we can do to contain healthcare costs, including perhaps a hard look at certain benefits mandated in the law and increasing the transparency of cost and quality data useful to consumers.
Do you know what would happen to a corporation that was $153 million in the red this year and would be down an additional $31 million next?
The CEO would be fired and the business would either be restructured or liquidated. But as we’re dealing with government (and they’re playing with our money), they can continue to play games on a sinking ship. Healthcare reform isn’t the only thing bleeding Massachusetts dry, but it’s a significant piece of the puzzle.
For all those who turned a blind eye when the dysfunctional Canadian system was revealed, and in their brilliance assumed they could do it better in Massachusetts (thank you Mitt Romney), all they have done is proven again that socialized medicine doesn’t work.
There have to be minds out there that can come up with some way to address the rising medicine/insurance peripheral costs. They just happen to not live and work in Massachusetts.