Just as Good as a Xerox

“Old timers” will remember that phrase from a copier commercial years ago when Xerox dominated the copier market. The pitch had a sleazy salesman trying to peddle his no-name copier to a business owner and his assurance that their copier was “just as good as a Xerox”, only cheaper.

The American public has been sold on a health insurance plan that is “just as good as RomneyCare” (the Massachusetts Experience and venture into universal health care).

Obamacare is RomneyCare on steroids.

So how well is this model for the future working?

Barely 4 years after approving RomneyCare the plan is coming apart at the seams.

While 97 percent of Massachusetts residents now have health insurance, actually getting in to see a doctor is a challenge. ABC News reports that patients wait an average of 50 days to see a doctor in Boston, nearly double the next-longest wait time — 27 days in Philadelphia. Some patients are traveling outside the state to avoid the long waits.

The access problem won’t be resolved any time soon.

Sounds like one of those good news, bad news jokes, except without the good news. I guess Obamacare folks will have to travel outside the U.S.to see a doctor.

How does Mexico sound?

A recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 75 percent of non-crisis emergency room visits occurred because a regular physician was not available after hours, and half of these visits occurred because patients couldn’t get a timely appointment with their doctor.

Why doesn’t Gov. Patrick simply require docs to work longer hours? That would solve the problem.

Dr. Lorraine M. Schratz, a pediatric cardiologist in Massachusetts, writes that more than half of all the doctors trained in Massachusetts are leaving the state, and one out of four doctors is considering a career change.

Rather than curb cost increases, post-reform health-care costs in Massachusetts have risen faster than the rest of the nation.

Harvard physicians Rachel Nardin, David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler say the reform has been more expensive than expected, costing $1.1 billion in fiscal 2008 and $1.3 billion in fiscal 2009.

I know the folks in D.C. are currently using all that brain power to stop the flow of oil in the Gulf, but is anyone paying attention to what is happening in Massachusetts? Sounds like Massachusetts needs to borrow Rahm Emanuel to capitalize on this crisis.

So why is RomneyCare falling apart? One is taxpayer subsidies for people earning up to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. For those of you playing along at home, this is one of the key foundations of Obamacare as well.

Another reason is that some people are gaming the system, buying insurance only when they need it, then dropping coverage.

Gosh, who would have anticipated that? Massachusetts should impose fines on those who fail to comply with the law and don’t buy health insurance.

Oh wait, they do have fines for non-compliance.

So how is RomneyCare any different than Obamacare?

It isn’t.

If a state of 6.5 million people can’t manage a universal health care program why should we expect offering the same kind of plan to 340 million people will work any better?

Just another stupid government trick.

Smaller cars, bigger health care problems, Poppa Washington.

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