≡ Menu

Will Pres. Obama’s Health-Care ‘Reform’ Control Costs or Not?

I'm surprised that Paul
Krugman, writing in today's New York Times
, points to Massachusetts's three-year-old program for creating
universal health-insurance coverage in that state as a model for
America.  Krugman himself – in
a column devoted to insisting that such government plans will reduce
health-care costs – admits that Massachusetts "is now looking for ways to help
control costs."  If Massachusetts's experience is Krugman's best
real-world case for how such reform itself controls costs, why are
legislators in that state "now looking" – three years later! – "for ways
to help control costs"?

But control costs they must.  A 2008
Kaiser Family Foundation study
of this Massachusetts reform finds that
"the costs for this program have exceeded previous estimates.  The
Governor's budget request of $869 million for 2009 is about $400
million more than that for 2008, and it is believed that this funding
level may still fall short."  And just last month, Cato Institute
scholar Michael Tanner reported
that "since the program became law,
insurance premiums have been increasing by 10 to 12 percent per year,
nearly double the national average. On average, health insurance costs
$16,897 a year for a family of four in Massachusetts, compared to
$12,700 nationally.  Meanwhile, total health-care spending in the state
has increased by 28 percent."