Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

08 February 2012

How's That MittMare in Massachusetts Doing? About As Well As You'd Expect.

It has the highest number of insured persons as a percentage of population: 97.4%.

It also has the highest insurance premiums and longest wait times in the country.

In 2008, the cost projections were revised. The new estimates indicated that the plan was to cost $869 million dollars in 2009 and $880 million dollars in 2010, an upwards increase of nearly 20%. MittCare has done nothing to bend the cost curve down.

Since 2006, the cost of the state’s insurance programme has increased by 42% or almost $600 million dollars.

 According to an analysis by the Rand Corporation, “in the absence of policy change, health care spending in Massachusetts is projected to nearly double to $123 billion in 2020, increasing 8% faster than the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).”

Medicaid costs have risen $7.5 billion to an estimated $9.2 billion.

Of the 407,000 newly insured, only 32% have paid for their insurance entirely on their own.

The remaining 68% have been either partially or wholly subsidised by the taxpayers.

Only 5% of newly insured Massachusetts residents, who are not receiving any taxpayer benefits, obtained their coverage through the state's "Connector" health care exchange.

Although the ratio of primary care doctors to population is higher in Massachusetts than in other states, the wait time for a general practitioner is 50-100 days with the nationwide average being 20 days.

On average the wait in the US to see a medical specialist is 20.5 days. In Massachusetts, it is 55 days.

 In Boston, it takes 70 days to see an obstetrician/gynecologist, 63 days to see a family physician, 54 days to see a dermatologist, 40 days to see an orthopedic surgeon, and 21 days to see a cardiologist. All wait times are the longest in the nation.

Almost half of internal medicine physicians have closed their doors entirely to new patients. 40% of doctors in Massachusetts will not treat Medicare patients and 55% of doctors in Mass will not see Medicaid patients.

Both are higher than the national average.

Despite the enactment of the nearly universal health insurance that some hoped would reduce expensive emergency department use, Massachusetts emergency rooms have reported a 9% increase in volume.

Higher premiums.

Higher medical costs.

Higher costs to the state.

Higher medical inflation.

A greater number of ER visits.

Longer wait times.

Fewer doctors.

A governor now threatening price controls, which always leads to rationing.

And, you can't blame any of this on those mean, old, "profits-before-people" corporations because the insurers are non-profits.

What one learns from systems like the NHS is that health insurance or even "free" government health care does not necessarily translate into medical treatment.

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