I just bought a home in Massachusetts. Damn. In today’s WSJ, Joseph Rago points out that my state’s new health care mandate has raised costs, and will soon reduce choice. Obamacare will perform similar wonders on the rest of America
President Obama said earlier this year that the health-care bill that Congress passed three months ago is "essentially identical" to the Massachusetts universal coverage plan that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed into law in 2006. No one but Mr. Romney disagrees.
In April, [Gov. Deval Patrick] insurance commissioner had rejected 235 of 274 premium increases state insurers had submitted ... the administration was in effect ordering the carriers to sell their products at a loss.
In the first good news in months, a state appeals board has reversed some of the price controls on the insurance industry that Gov. Deval Patrick imposed earlier this year. Late last month, the panel ruled that the action had no legal basis and ignored "economic realties."
But the governor says he’ll appeal the board’s reversal. I hope he loses. Businesses won’t sell their products at a loss long. Insurance companies will just stop insuring people in my state.
In an April message to his staff, Robert Dynan, a career insurance commissioner responsible for ensuring the solvency of state carriers, wrote that his superiors "implemented artificial price caps on HMO rates. The rates, by design, have no actuarial support. This action . . . has the potential for catastrophic consequences including irreversible damage to our non-profit health care system" and that "there most likely will be a train wreck (or perhaps several train wrecks)."
Sure enough, the five major state insurers have so far collectively lost $116 million due to the rate cap. Three of them are now under administrative oversight because of concerns about their financial viability.
As events are now unfolding, the Massachusetts plan couldn't be a more damning indictment of ObamaCare. The state's universal health-care prototype is growing more dysfunctional by the day....