Many consider Massachusetts’ health law from 2006 — aka “Romneycare” — as the inspiration for the Affordable Care Act — aka “Obamacare.” While there are some important differences between the two, Utah legislators would be wise to reflect upon cautionary tales from Massachusetts before considering bringing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion to the Beehive State.
While I have huge respect for Mitt Romney, having worked for him when he was governor, it must still be noted that in pre-Romneycare Massachusetts, roughly $1 billion a year was spent on uncompensated care, mostly paid for — as now contemplated by Utah policymakers — via a “health care provider tax.”
In Utah, health care providers (hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies) would be taxed to expand Medicaid coverage to able-bodied adults. The well-intentioned thought behind this is that if you get more people covered, you will reduce health care costs. However, as William F. Buckley Jr. once said, “idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.” Massachusetts’ history has borne out that truth.
Read the full article originally posted at The Desert News by Josh Archambault.