Thursday, April 13, 2006

Doubts Linger Over Cost of Healthcare Bill

No shit.

Governor Mitt Romney signed most of a sweeping new healthcare bill into law yesterday at a festive Faneuil Hall ceremony hailed as a hallmark of bipartisan achievement, even as healthcare specialists expressed concern that the plan could start losing money in three years.

When the politicians and "experts" tell you the cost of anything "probably" won't go up, chances are it will (ref. the Big Dig). When these same folks tell you the price tag "could" actually increase, chances are you're in for a screwing of monumental proportion.

A legislative staff analysis estimates that the groundbreaking healthcare plan would start losing money in two to three years, which could put pressure on lawmakers to spend more tax money, increase the fee on businesses or scale back the coverage of the sweeping bill.

Well, gee, at least they'll have "options". They can raise taxes on the people contributing to the pot or cut back on the amount of coverage provided to the people taking out of it.

Heads they win, tails we lose.

A number of economists and health policy specialists interviewed by the Globe said that the plan's financing is solid for the next two years, especially since lawmakers have added a cushion of money in case of unexpected costs.

But some specialists warned that the picture is less certain after that. "There are a lot of things that have to happen right for there to be enough money," said John Holahan of the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan policy research organization in Washington, D.C.

Yeah, and one of those things is for the population of people paying into the system to keep up with the population of people taking out of the system. I'm not seeing that happening down the road. We've already had two consecutive years of population decline in this state, and this plan is not likely to reverse that trend anytime soon.

Rising healthcare costs could easily outstrip the money raised by the bill through state and federal contributions and the employer assessment, observers said.

So, someone explain to me again how this can possibly be seen as a good thing? I'm seeing nothing more than a big blackhole of economic disaster here - the last nail, if you will, in the coffin of the future of Massachusetts as an economically viable entity.

Lastly, can anyone please tell me what exactly Ted Kennedy's end goal is here? We've seen him take to the streets this week advocating for even more of an open border policy than we already have (thanks to his tireless work over the last 20 years on behalf of illegal aliens everywhere). And now, he and Mitt "I Have No Freakin' Chance of Becoming President Now" Romney want the government (read:taxpayers) of Massachusetts to provide health insurance to every hapless soul who makes it across the state line and declares residency here.

Today the Commonwealth, tomorrow the former United States of America - right, Senator?

God save the Republic (and pass the ammo).

For there's little even He can do now for the once-great Commonwealth of Massachusetts.