Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Massachusetts Democratic Heath Care...Not Romney Care...care to know the truth?

I came across a blog that was very very well written and explains in detail why the Massachusetts Health Care is absolutely not RomneyCare. Do you wish to continue to put your head in the sand? Or does the truth matter to you? It matters to me.

By Samizdat(Conservative Blogger)

Please Call It MassDemCare, Not RomneyCare

Many people call the current Massachusetts health care plan RomneyCare. The truth is that it really should be called "MassDemCare" for the following reasons:

#1. Romney’s healthcare plan was vastly different BEFORE the Massachusetts Democratic Congress modified and changed Romney’s plan.

The original RomneyCare was but a skeletal form of what is has blossomed into because of legislative tinkering after the fact:

"The legislature made a number of changes to Governor Romney's original proposal, including expanding MassHealth (Medicaid and SCHIP) coverage to low-income children and restoring funding for public health programs. The most controversial change was the addition of a provision which requires firms with 11 or more workers that do not provide "fair and reasonable" health coverage to their workers to pay an annual penalty. This contribution, initially $295 annually per worker, is intended to equalize the free care pool charges imposed on employers who do and do not cover their workers. The legislature also rejected Governor Romney's proposal to permit even higher-deductible, lower benefit health plans.


Here's how the Democrats altered Romney's original health care plan :
1) At the core of the House plan is the controversial payroll tax, which would be levied on businesses with more than 10 employees if they do not provide insurance to their workers. Romney and Travaglini oppose the tax.

But last night's 129 to 24 House vote on the payroll tax would be enough to overrule a Romney veto, and earlier this week House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi suggested that many senators support the idea, despite Travaglini's reservations.

2) House leaders amended the bill so that the salaries of highly paid employees would count only up to $94,200 in calculating overall payroll costs. They also exempted from the calculation employees getting healthcare coverage through their spouses.

Part-time workers would count as full-time employees in calculating the payroll tax, a detail designed to persuade employers to offer them coverage.

3) In addition to pushing employers to cover their workers, the House plan would also require people who can afford health insurance to buy it, provide subsidies to lower-income people to help them pay premiums, and raise the income limits for MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program, so an additional 130,000 people can enroll.

Background source for #1-3 is here.

4) Romney also vetoed provisions providing dental benefits to poor residents on the Medicaid program, and providing health coverage to senior and disabled legal immigrants not eligible for federal Medicaid. The legislature promptly overrode six of the eight gubernatorial section vetoes, on May 4, 2006, and by mid-June 2006 had overridden the remaining two.


Thus, we can see that Romney fought with the Democrats who controlled both houses in Massachusetts and was unable to win since they were able to override ALL of his eight vetoes.

After unsuccessfully attempting to keep the democrats from modifying his original health care plan, Governor Mitt Romney signed the health legislation on April 12, 2006 

#2 The supposed problems with Romney’s health care program in MA are attributable to the changes made by the new governor, Democrat Deval Patrick.

Not only did the Democrats make changes to Romney's health care plan, but the successor to Mitt Romney, Deval Patrick made additional changes:
With Washington watching, the state’s leaders are again blazing new trails. Both Gov. Deval Patrick, Mr. Romney’s Democratic successor, and a high-level state commission have set out to revamp the way public and private insurers reimburse physicians and hospitals. They want a new payment method that rewards prevention and the effective control of chronic disease, instead of the current system, which pays according to the quantity of care provided. By late spring, the commission is expected to recommend such a system to the legislature.But Mr. Patrick has shown signs of playing tough with the state’s hospitals and insurers. Responding in January to a series in The Boston Globe that exposed how the state’s most influential hospitals negotiate high reimbursement rates, Mr. Patrick announced that he would explore whether the state could regulate insurance premiums.
“Frankly, it’s very hard for the average consumer, or frankly the average governor, to understand how some of these companies can have the margins they do and the annual increases in premiums that they do,” Mr. Patrick said in an interview. “At some level, you’ve just got to say, ‘Look, that’s just not acceptable, and more to the point, it’s not sustainable.’ ”

What Massachusetts has now is MassDemCare, not RomneyCare.
Therefore, any criticism of the current state of the Massachusetts health care system should be laid at the feet of the democrats, NOT Romney.

The REAL lesson of MassDemCare is that you don’t let Democrats anywhere near health care reform at the state or federal level. They’ll screw the original plans up.
#3 RomneyCare: The Power of Conservative Princples Even In Liberal States.
Some people think that the distinctions between the Massachusetts health care plan and Obama care are blurring together, but that not is true.
The key distinction between ObamaCare and the underlying principle that Mitt Romney preserved in his health care plan, is that it is the private sector, not the public sector, that provides coverage to the Massachusetts citizens.
Mitt Romney was able to keep the most crucial aspect of his health care plan from being completely corrupted by the Democrats. He made sure that there was minimal government intervention in the Massachusetts health care plan.
Lets be clear: Mitt Romney's plan is not a single payer takeover of government. Scott Brown, the Massachusetts candidate, who is currently running for the late Senator Kennedy's seat explained it this way:
“What we have here is a free-market enterprise where we’re providing insurance on various levels to people in Massachusetts,” Brown said. “The plans in Washington are a one-size-fits-all plan that’s going to cost almost $1 trillion-plus and raise taxes at a time when we don’t need it.”

Source. http://mittromneycentral.com/2010/01/13/scott-brown-defends-his-vote-for-romneycare/

The Massachusetts health reform bill is far from the ideal plan to reform health care, but even with its flaws, it is fairly successful and it works. (For a good rebuttal of typical arguments against Mitt's health care plan, I suggest reading this blog.)

That's what makes Romney's health care plan so amazing.

Despite the fact that Massachusetts democrats have altered, modified and tinkered with his original health care plan, the underlying conservative principal of minimal government intervention can shine through the muck of liberal policies and be successful.

Conservatism is a hardy, rough and strong ideology that can survive even in the most harshest of circumstances if the basic principles are preserved. If those core principles are protected, it will bring positive results into the individual lives of each citizen regardless of what liberal additions or alterations are made on top of it.

That's the important lesson that every Conservative or Republican should learn from the story of RomneyCare: The basic and successful principles of conservatism cannot be suppressed by liberal policies.

That is what Mitt Romney is about. He has demonstrated that the essential core conservative principles are worth fighting for. He has demonstrated that the basic conservative ideas work even when its implemented even in a liberal state like Massachusetts.

UPDATE (2.9.10): A recent poll shows that the people of Massachusetts actually like Romney's health care plan:
A poll conducted this week by The Washington Post of 880 Massachusetts residents who said they voted in the special election found that 68 percent support the Massachusetts plan. Even among Brown voters, slightly more than half backed the 2006 law. (Source.)

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