Govt Health Care: Lessons from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts

j0370242As our nation considers suicide by socialized medicine, we should stop and for a minute and take a look at an experiment in government health care which is already taking place within our borders.

We don’t merely have examples of the folly of government health care in other nations such as Canada, Great Britain and Sweden, we have on in the state of Massachusetts.

When this latest incarnation of insanity was rolled out under “Republican” Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts a few years ago, it was hailed as the socialism that was finally going to work.

After a few years, however, we found out that it was the same old bad dog with the same old fleas.  No wonder I and many others call the Massachusetts experiment with American socialism a “model for disaster.”

Greg Scandlen, director of Consumers for Health Care Choices at the Heartland Institute, wrote an article for the National Center for Policy Analysis yesterday on the lessons we can and should learn from the Massachusetts debacle.

One is that socialized medicine always raises costs, not lowers them. Without even looking at government inefficiencies, incompetence and lack of accountability, any time you dispense something for “free,” you’ll always dispense more of it.  Massachusetts has seen state spending on health care go up 42% since 2006, and their per-capita spending was already 33% above the national average.  The cost of their program has also been 1/3 more expensive than estimated (also normal for any government program).

The second lesson is that this fiasco has hurt the people it purported to help.   A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that of those required to purchase insurance coverage 51% say their health care costs have gone up, with only 14% saying they went down. The survey found 22% that said the program helped them but 60% say hurt them.

Finally, like all socialist programs, it is succeeding only in spreading the misery, not helping lift all boats.  Just as we see in other socialist countries, wait times have gone up.  In addition to having more people coming out for “free” health care, there are other factors contributing to increased wait times.  When costs exploded, the government tried to control costs by reducing payouts to doctors and medical facilities…driving more of them out of the business and reducing the pool of available health care resources.  Many providers remaining in business don’t want to take on new patients for fear of losing even more income, resulting in waits of up to a year just for a routine exam.

A chart included in Mr. Scandlen’s piece shows that while Boston, Mass. has the lowest number of uninsured people and the highest number of doctors per 1,000 patients, wait times are nearly double (49.6 days) the next highest listed area (Philadelphia, PA at 27 days).

Smart people learn from the mistakes of others.  The lessons that warn against socialism abound around the world and here at home.  Socialism does not improve people’s lives; it only spreads the misery around more equally (except for those “more equal” pigs forcing this un-American philosophy on everyone else).

Surely your mom or dad asked you when you were growing up and planning on doing something stupid, “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you follow them?”  Most of us (unless we’re liberals) realized as we grew into adulthood that our parents were pretty smart.

Though many of our politicians seem as dumb as a box of rocks, the American people are generally smart.  It’s time we found our voice and told our elected pigs, er, representatives in Washington in no uncertain terms: “NO!” to socialized health care.

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