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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

The Massachusetts Connector & ObamaCare

Healthcare, Quality of Life, U.S.

I had the occasion last Friday to visit with a man who is in the process of relocating his family from Boston to the Milwaukee area, and our conversation drifted into ObamaCare and the Massachusetts Connector which reportedly served as the model for ObamaCare.

Unsolicited by me was this information from that fellow:  “The Mass Connector has ruined health care in Massachusetts.”  “You can’t get in to see a doctor for weeks upon weeks.”  “Doctors are leaving the state quicker than they can ever be replaced.”  “Hospitals are shutting down.”  “Costs are higher now than before.”  This ‘man-on-the-street’ report came as quite an exclamation point. 

We should have had enough time with the Massachusetts example to see quite plainly what a national system of similar approaches may very well devolve into.  We saw the wait times for primary physician visits go from 5-7 days to 3-4 weeks or more across Massachusetts.  We don’t seem to learn very quickly, do we?  Even the most brilliant people in the world seem to have short memories or simply know they couldn’t possibly botch it up like those dummies in Massachusetts.

The shortage of primary care physicians will continue to exacerbate.  Few new physicians with huge loans to pay back will move into primary care when they can stay in school and work on a specialty degree instead.  I spoke with a recently graduated dermatology physician this morning and heard that lament about his friends still in med school.

We are now seeing the real premium costs for those who are earning too much to receive a premium offset through the federal site.  One does not have to be earning vast sums to move out of the subsidy range.  Even health plans with higher deductibles are requiring premium payments larger than anything most have seen before regardless of the deductible involved.  We are now hearing about people who question whether or not they will even continue to carry health insurance given the higher costs and the fact they can buy it during any open enrollment period without fear of the former pre-existing condition exclusion.  Some are even talking about declaring bankruptcy if they should end up with a major condition that costs tens of thousands of dollars.

The ObamaCare website may eventually become usable, although the back-end (some 40% of the functionality) has yet to be built so there is still no efficient way to push data from the site to the correct insurance carrier.  Nor is there any efficient way to get premiums paid to the correct insurance carrier.  This whole fiasco is far from being improved to the point it needs in order to work at anything near an efficient level.

The outcry over ObamaCare is far from finished.  The Massachusetts Connector has been in place for years and the citizens of that state are still furious about what it has done to them and their health care system.  Mitt Romney has one thing going for him, though.  The Massachusetts Connector isn’t also called RomneyCare.

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