The Masachusetts plan to control health care costs

Yesterday, the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill which Governor Patrick is expected to sign, that is claimed will dramatically lower health care spending in the state.  How will they do this?

You tell me after you read the new law.

But first, a bit of background.  Under Romneycare, passed in 2006, residents were promised that health care costs, and health insurance premiums would dramatically fall.  Five years later, costs are rising at the rate of 6% to 7% per year, and premiums are the highest in the country.

So, Massachusetts has waived a magic wand that will change all that.  The new law provides that the growth in total health care spending per year cannot exceed the growth rate of the state’s economy, which is currently about 3.7%, for the next five years, and one half a percentage point below the growth rate of the state’s economy after that.

Voila…problem solved, and the legislature can go on vacation.

It is apparently up to the insurance companies to figure out how to accomplish this magical result, and, if they can’t, they could be subject to a $500,000 fine, which most assuredly will go a long way to reducing premiums.

Other than that, several other options have arisen.

Lynn Nicholas, president of the Massachusetts Hospital ­Association, said that hospitals ­’already are working hard to get their costs down and they have,’ …[a]s pressure grows on hospitals to cut spending, she said, workers may lose their jobs or be forced to acquire new skills, and hospitals may close or limit services. “We just don’t know what it’s going to take to get down to that level’’ of spending, she said.

But, you will be happy to learn that Governor Patrick does not believe that any jobs will be lost, or services cut.

Another option, outlined in the law as a “model”,

…mimics health maintenance organizations [HMO’s] that gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s and lost favor as patients and doctors decided they were too restrictive.

That is somewhat of an understatement.  HMO’s were so despised by the people that many states outlawed them.

So, you tell me.  How do you believe Massachusetts will lower the growth of health care spending by almost 50% from today’s growth levels?


16 replies
  1. kateinmaine
    kateinmaine says:

    that’s a gimme–by reclaiming the mantle of ‘taxachusetts’.? you oppress the rational earning class? until they capitulate and leave.? this process yields a double bonus–additional revenue in the short term (which can be used to create more lucrative ‘playing field leveling’ entitlements) and a smaller population burden on the healthcare system in the long run.?? the handful of facilities that remain (mostly affiliated with academia, whose pockets won’t be completely tapped for the next 5 or so years) should be able to adequately meet the general medical needs within the guidelines as set forth.? besides, by then the o’care death panels will be fully functional.? you really are a reactionary, sos. . .

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Price and cost controls do little to do either, in fact, like certain “stimulus” programs I could mention, the effects are usually the opposite, because the pols are throwing a monkey wrench into supply and demand.? Again.? Just to prove they are doing something, although the “something” in this case is to fix previous mistakes made by pols.

  3. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    They won’t fix it.??
    They will claim “it’s broken” opening the door for?Obamacare.?
    Even if they could drop the increases from 6-7% to 3.6%, I am sure it is still outpaces?most people’s raises.

      • PatRiot
        PatRiot says:

        America is waking up to the many other little coups by the DC mob.
        Correct me if I am wrong, but history shows a people will only be pushed so far before they revolt.? Unfortunately, like in France, the people will be eating grass before they?rise up against their government.

  4. Eric
    Eric says:

    If it weren’t so absolutely awful, it would be funny! ?Are these people serious? ?Do they believe they’re wizards or something? ?Were they inhaling when they voted on this one? ?What a joke… can’t wait to watch this one unfold!

  5. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Answer #2:? They will demand more miracles from the Catholic church.? In return they will not tax/fine the church for its?stance on?birth control.
    Answer #3: ?Close their eyes?tight and wish really hard.

  6. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Dems keep saying that the Massachusetts plan was the model for ?bamacare.
    Funny they don’t mention these oncoming changes/failures.

  7. JBS
    JBS says:

    The Taxachusetts legislature can pass all the laws they want, it won’t alter reality.
    Probably the best thing they could do is get that legalized marijuana out to the Bay State citizens to preemptively medicate everyone.? That will alter reality!

  8. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Perhaps costs could lowered by off-shoring jobs in the health field, as Aetna and Health Net Inc. are already doing.

    • PatRiot
      PatRiot says:

      Careful !? Take that thought a?step further and you will find more Americans out of work, needing assistance and the pool of taxpayers dwindling.?

    • kateinmaine
      kateinmaine says:

      you may be missing the point–this time they are leaning harder on hospitals and healthcare providers.? it’s kind of hard to off-shore those jobs–unless you are advocating having max headroom as your doc. . .

  9. John Fembup
    John Fembup says:

    John Larson tells me (well, he tells everyone who will listen) that the Medicare B premiums will rise to $112 per month per person for 2014.?? They are about $100 now.? That’s a 12% increase.??
    Good thing we have Obamacare to protect us from rising Medicare costs.

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