The only good news we can find is that the uninsured rate has dropped to 2% today from 6% in 2006. Yet four out of five of the newly insured receive low- or no-cost coverage from the government. The subsidies will cost at least $830 million in 2011 and are growing, conservatively measured, at 5.1% a year. Total state health-care spending as a share of the budget has grown from about 16% in the 1980s to 30% in 2006 to 40% today. The national state average is about 25%.
The safety-net fund that was supposed to be unwound, well, wasn't. Uncompensated hospital care rose 5% from 2008 to 2009, and 15% from 2009 to 2010, hitting $475 million (though the state only paid out $405 million). "Avoidable" use of emergency rooms—that is, for routine care like a sore throat—increased 9% between 2004 and 2008. Meanwhile, unsubsidized insurance premiums for individuals and small businesses have climbed to among the highest in the nation.
...We judge candidates based on what they actually did when they were in office, and Romney supported all the key principles of ObamaCare in the law he signed.
Most notably, Romney supported the individual mandate, which he again defended today, arguing that it was put in place to combat free riders. But that's precisely the argument the Obama administration is making, not only publicly, but in federal court to combat challenges to its constitutionality. Romney even described the mandate as a matter of “personal responsibility.” In the actual text of ObamaCare, the official name for the mandate is the “individual responsibility requirement.”
...Because the plans are so similar in structure, every time Romney defends his Massachusetts law, it is a de facto defense of the national health care law.
If Romney really is interested in repealing and replacing ObamaCare, the best thing he could do to help the cause is to stop running for president.Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post is similarly unimpressed.
I will play excerpts of the speech Mitt Romney gives on health care on today's program. ABC's The Note gives a good summary of the good and bad of Romney's plan in Massachusetts, but what matters much more than how that plan has worked is what Romney proposes be done by the federal government if he is elected president. I suspect he will say about the Massachusetts plan that "some of it worked, some didn't." But what he's got to say about Obamacare is that he has a plan to get rid of it and quickly.
Lots of Romney opponents argue that Massachusetts' plan sinks the Romney candidacy. Take it form someone who was certain that Senator John McCain's amnesty bill, Gang of 14 ploy and campaign finance reform law would doom his candidacy, voters look forward, not backward, and it is about the choice they are offered the week they are voting not what a candidate did legislatively years earlier.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
Saudi Arabia Threatens to Sue Anyone Who Compares Their Justice System to ISIS | Christine Rousselle
Suspect in Custody After Shooting at Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood UPDATE: Three People Have Died, Shooter Identified | Christine Rousselle
Active Shooter Near Planned Parenthood Location in Colorado UPDATE: Suspect Has Surrendered to Police | Christine Rousselle
Unreal: Anti-Gun DC Police Chief Urges Public to ‘Take Down’ Active Gunman If Possible | Leah Barkoukis