Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Health Care for All!

The problem of health care for all is going to finally be solved...at least in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts policy provides insurance to the lowest-earning residents by offering low- or no-cost plans, with premiums and co-payments paid entirely by the state.

If that weren't enough, residents who choose to forgo insurance can either pay a fine or buy insurance.

Residents who can afford insurance but do not choose a plan by July 1, 2007, will face tax penalties that year, as incentive to take out insurance in an attempt to reduce health-care costs statewide.

Sounds like a pipe dream? What's the catch you may ask...Well, here's some more info:

The Massachusetts policy holds both businesses and employees responsible for health care coverage. Businesses with more than 10 employees that do not provide coverage for all staff must pay a $295 fee annually per uninsured worker.

Under the legislation, which is expected to be approved by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, insurance agencies would expand health care coverage by offering state-subsidized, low-cost insurance plans with scaled-back benefits.

Ahhh...state subsidized, low-cost insurance with scaled back benefits. So health care will be rationed off to those that can't afford it. Just wait until somebody dies or is denied treatment for something under one of these low cost plans with scaled back benefits.

The heart of the matter, according to a Massachusetts legislator?

"Some 500,000 citizens who go without insurance today will be taken care of," House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, a Democrat, told the state Legislature to loud applause.

Tennessee attempted to solve this problem a decade ago. The result? The plan was scrubbed nearly 10 years later. Why? The state was going bankrupt.

"TennCare is a noble and worthwhile initiative that has made significant contributions to public health in Tennessee," Bredesen said in a press release posted on his web site. "Over the past year, we've made every possible effort to preserve the program. But persistent lawsuits have tied our hands. The sad reality is, we can't afford TennCare in its current form. It pains me to set this process in motion, but I won't let TennCare bankrupt our State. This is the option of last resort."

The intent of TennCare was to:

TennCare started in January 1994 as an experiment to expand Tennessee's Medicaid program by using managed care principles to deliver health care to a larger number of people for the same amount of money. But the governor's press release says that from its inception, TennCare was beset by problems and cost overruns.
Managed care.

Same amount of money. Rationing health care.

Good luck Massachusetts!

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