Skip to comments.Emergency room visits grow in Mass. New insurance law did not reduce number of users
Posted on 07/04/2010 6:02:46 AM PDT by Leisler
The number of people visiting hospital emergency rooms has climbed in Massachusetts, despite the enactment of nearly universal health insurance that some hoped would reduce expensive emergency department use.
....according to a report from the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, expanded coverage may have contributed to the rise in emergency room visits,.....
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
If you break your arm, your physician is going to do what??? "0"
Knock me over with a feather! Who could have ever foresaw that socialized medicine would be a fuster cluck!
Back to the ObamaCare Future (price controls in Massachusetts)
Natural experiments are rare in politics, but few are as instructive as the prototype for
ObamaCare that Massachusetts set in motion in 2006.
Last month, Democratic Governor Deval Patrick landed a neutron bomb, proposing hard
price controls across almost all Massachusetts health care. State regulators already have
the power to cap insurance premiums, which Mr. Patrick is activating. He also filed a bill
that would give state regulators the power to review the rates of hospitals, physician
groups and some specialty providers.
It doesn't even count as an irony that former Governor Mitt Romney (like President Obama) sold this plan as a way to control spending
The Huge Middle Class Tax Increase Coming Our Way With ObamaCare
The former CBO director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, warns today on the effect ObamaCare
will have on our economy and health care. These facts should be painfully obvious to
those with even one iota of common sense. This bill will lead to a huge middle class tax increase:
Remember when health-care reform was supposed to make life better for the middle
class? That dream began to unravel this past summer when Congress proposed a bill that
failed to include any competition-based reforms that would actually bend the curve of
health-care costs. It fell apart completely when Democrats began papering over the
gaping holes their plan would rip in the federal budget.
As it now stands, the plan proposed by Democrats and the Obama administration would
not only fail to reduce the cost burden on middle-class families, it would make that burden significantly worse.
The bill creates a new health entitlement program that the Congressional Budget Office
(CBO) estimates will grow over the longer term at a rate of 8% annually, which is much
faster than the growth rate of the economy or tax revenues. This is the same growth rate
as the House bill that Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) deep-sixed by asking the CBO to tell
the truth about its impact on health-care costs.
To avoid the fate of the House bill and achieve a veneer of fiscal sensibility, the Senate
did three things: It omitted inconvenient truths, it promised that future Congresses will
make tough choices to slow entitlement spending, and it dropped the hammer on the middle class.
One inconvenient truth is the fact that Congress will not allow doctors to suffer a 24% cut in their Medicare reimbursements.
The $4,000 Family Healthcare Tax Breaks Obama Promise
When Barack Obama ran for president, he promised that his health care plan would
"lower health-care costs by $2,500 for the typical family." Now, it turns out that new
legislation that he supports creating public-private "co-operatives" will increase the costs
of family health insurance by $4,000 by 2019.
And that, in fact, may be the point of his entire ObamaCare packaged.
A recent Price Waterhouse Coopers report released by America's Health Insurance Plans
(AHIP) stated, "by 2019 the cost of single coverage is expected to increase by $1,500
more than it would under the current system and the cost of family coverage is expected
to increase by $4,000 more than it would under the current system.
The report continues, This amounts to an additional 18 percent increase in premiums by
2019. The report states that this average increase is a composite of increases by market
segment: a 49 percent increase for the individual market, a 28 percent increase for
employers with fewer than 50 employees, an 11 percent increase for larger employers,
and a 9 percent increase for self-insured employers.
This, of course, is not what Barack Obama promised. But it may be what he actually
wantsto radically increase the cost of private insurance so that American families are
forced onto government-run health care.
Robert Reich Reveals Brutal Health Care Truths; MSM Snores
Paging Congressman Alan Grayson! Here is a quote that validates what you said about
those EVIL Republicans:
"We're going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that
technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you
maybe going for another couple of months. It's too expensive...so we're going to let
Aha! So it turns out that Grayson was right when he said "Republicans want you to die
quickly." Only one "little" problem here. That quote did not come from a Republican. In
fact it came from the very liberal former Labor Secretary Robert Reich who is now an
economics adviser for Barack Obama
Today's big news story is the release of a report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers on the
impact the Senate Finance Committee's health care "reform" bill will have on health
insurance premiums. PWC concluded that the cost of health insurance for the average
family will rise by $4,000 by 2019, as compared with doing nothing:
DEATH PANELS OPEN FOR BUSINESS IN MASSACHUSETTS
In August Sarah Palin wrote extensively about the incredible danger that ObamaCare
would lead to what amounts to death panels. This of course caused great controversy
with many claiming Palin was either crazy or talking about the end of life
discussions that were provided for within House Resolution 3200, the prototype
As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan
that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is
dropping, and were saying not just no, but hell no!
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of
health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care
will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the
most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The
America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down
Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obamas death panel so his bureaucrats can
decide, based on a subjective judgment of their level of productivity in society, whether
they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. .
Now we have news from Massachusetts, the home of RomneyCare, which should be
looked at as a shining example of why ObamaCare will be an epic failure. Soaring costs
both to the taxpayers and patients was inevitable, and now the effects of these are coming home to roost.
You cant reap these savings without limiting patients choices in some way,
Sunstein: Take organs from 'helpless patients'
TEL AVIV President Obama's newly confirmed regulatory czar defended the
possibility of removing organs from terminally ill patients without their permission.
Customers will pay big for health fix: insurers
WASHINGTON -- The insurance industry yesterday charged that the proposed Senate
health-care bill would shift costs to privately insured people, raising the price of a typical
policy by hundreds -- if not thousands -- of dollars annually. The trade group America's
Health Insurance Plans sent its members a new accounting-firm study that projects the
legislation would add $1,700 a year to the cost of family coverage in 2013. Premiums for
a single person would go up by $600 more than would be the case without the legislation,
it concluded. The study projected that in 2019, family premiums could be $4,000...
Reform Means You Pay More for Health Care [Here are the numbers]
A major new report confirms the worst fears of many: Health care reform will raise the
costs for most Americansby about 18% on average. That is on top of existing inflation
of health coverage.
Once the plan is fully phased-in (by 2019), a typical family of four would pay an extra $4,000 each year.
When combined with existing inflation, costs would rise from todays $12,300 annual
average to $25,900. Of that 111% increase, $9,600 is due to existing factors uncorrected
by the legislation, and $4,000 due to additional costs created by the legislation.
For single persons, the differential is projected at $1,500 a year. Premiums would rise
from todays $4,600 a year to $9,600 overall.
Prepared by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), the new analysis was requested by
AHIPAmericas Health Insurance Plans. It focuses on the leading plan pending in
Congress, sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D, MT), which is scheduled for a Senate
Finance Committee vote on Tuesday. .
You cant reap these savings without limiting patients choices in some way," said Paul Levy, CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess.
The states ambitious plan to shake up how providers are paid could have a hidden price
for patients: Controlling Massachusetts soaring medical costs, many health care leaders
believe, may require residents to give up their nearly unlimited freedom to go to any
hospital and specialist they want.
Efforts to keep patients in a defined provider network, or direct them to lower-cost
hospitals could be unpopular, especially in a state where more than 40 percent of hospital
care is provided in expensive academic medical centers and where many insurance
policies allow patients access to large numbers of providers. .
"Romney Visits Nebraska, Talks Health Care [where he defends Romneycare]
A familiar face came to Nebraska on Friday, hoping to raise a lot of money for the state Republican party and perhaps raise his profile for the 2012 presidential race.
Former candidate Mitt Romney was the keynote speaker for the Nebraska Republican Party's Founder's Day dinner.
The appearance, one of several planned in the past few weeks, may have helped boost his party's hopes in Nebraska's second Congressional district.
He said he's also hoping to bring attention to the debate over health care reform.
The WSJ Guide to ObamaCare. A comprehensive collection of our editorials.
50 or more live linked articles, editorials on big government, big business
RINO/Socialism/Romney/Hilary/Obama central health planning from the people
gave you public housing slums, lousy expensive highways, lousy expensive
public schools.... "
"Paying the Health Tax in Massachusetts [Romneycare]
My husband retired from IBM about a decade ago, and as we aren't old enough for
Medicare we still buy our health insurance through the company. But IBM, with its
typical courtesy, informed us recently that we will be fined by the state.
Why? Because Massachusetts requires every resident to have health insurance, and this
year, without informing us directly, the state had changed the rules in a way that made
our bare-bones policy no longer acceptable. Unless we ponied up for a pricier policy we
neither need nor wantor enrolled in a government-sponsored insurance planwe
would have to pay $1,000 each year to the state.
My husband's response was muted; I was shaking mad. We hadn't imposed our health-
care costs on anyone else, yet we were being fined ("taxed" was the word the letter used).
We've spent much of our lives putting away what money we could for retirement. We
always intended to be self-sufficient. We've paid off the mortgage on our home, don't
carry credit-card debt, and have savings in case of an emergency. We also have a regular
monthly income of about $3,000, which includes an IBM pension. My husband, 61, earns
a little money on the side, sometimes working as an electronics consultant on renewable
energy projects. I'm 58 and make some money writing science books. We are not
wealthy, but we aren't a risk of becoming a burden on society either. How did we become outlaws? "
"National Health Preview - The Massachusetts debacle, coming soon to your neighborhood."
"Three years ago, the former Massachusetts Governor had the inadvertent good sense to create the "universal" health-care program that the White House and Congress now want to inflict on the entire country.
It is proving to be instructive, as Mr. Romney's foresight previews what President Obama, Max Baucus, Ted Kennedy and Pete Stark are cooking up for everyone else.
In Massachusetts's latest crisis, Governor Deval Patrick and his Democratic colleagues are starting to move down the path that government health plans always follow when spending collides with reality -- i.e., price controls.
As costs continue to rise, the inevitable results are coverage restrictions and waiting periods. It was only a matter of time.
They're trying to manage the huge costs of the subsidized middle-class insurance program that is gradually swallowing the state budget.
The program provides low- or no-cost coverage to about 165,000 residents, or three-fifths of the newly insured, and is budgeted at $880 million for 2010, a 7.3% single-year increase that is likely to be optimistic.
The state's overall costs on health programs have increased by 42% (!) since 2006.
What really whipped along RomneyCare were claims that health care would be less expensive if everyone were covered.
But reducing costs while increasing access are irreconcilable issues.
Mr. Romney should have known better before signing on to this not-so-grand experiment, especially since the state's "free market" reforms that he boasts about have proven to be irrelevant when not fictional.
Only 21,000 people have used the "connector" that was supposed to link individuals to private insurers."
A Very Sick Health Plan; Bay States Grand Experiment Fails [RomneyCare]
"The Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Va. - 2009-03-31 "
"For folks increasingly leery of President Obamas plan to radically overhaul Americas health-care system,
or 17 percent of the nations economy, all this could hardly have come at a better time
that is, fiscal troubles aplenty within Repubican Mitt Romneys brainchild, Massachusetts grand experiment in universal health care."
"Initiated on Mr. Romneys gubernatorial watch in 2006, this experiment has fallen on hard times, and predictably so.
Even though the Bay State commenced its program with a far smaller percentage of uninsured residents than exists nationwide,
RomneyCare is threatening to bankrupt the state. Budgeted for Fiscal Year 2010 at $880 million,
or 7.3 percent more than a year ago, this plan, aimed at providing low- or no-cost health coverage to roughly 165,000 residents,
has caused Massachusetts overall expenditures on all health-related programs to jump an astounding 42 percent since 2006.
So what does Mr. Romneys successor, Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, propose as a remedy for these skyrocketing costs?
Well, whaddya think? The standard litany of prescriptions (no pun intended) price controls and spending caps, for a start, and then, again predictably, waiting periods and limitations on coverage.
As in Europe and Canada, so too in Massachusetts. And, we feel certain, everyone from Mr. Romney to Mr. Patrick said, It would never happen here.
But then, such things are inevitable when best-laid plans, with all their monstrous costs, run smack-dab into fiscal reality.
"Hospital patients 'left in agony'"
"Patients were allegedly left screaming in pain and drinking from flower vases on a nightmare hospital ward.
Between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust over three years, a damning Healthcare Commission report said.
The watchdog's investigation found inadequately trained staff who were too few in number, junior doctors left alone in charge at night and patients left without food, drink or medication as their operations were repeatedly cancelled.
Patients were left in pain or forced to sit in soiled bedding for hours at a time and were not given their regular medication, the Commission heard.
Receptionists with no medical training were expected to assess patients coming in to A&E, some of whom needed urgent care.
Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, said there had been a "gross and terrible breach" of patients' trust and a "complete failure of leadership".
The Healthcare Commission's chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said the investigation followed concerns about a higher than normal death rate at the Trust, which senior managers could not explain.
He said: "The resulting report is a shocking story. Our report tells a story of appalling standards of care and chaotic systems for looking after patients. These are words I have not previously used in any report.
"There were inadequacies in almost every stage of caring for patients. There was no doubt that patients will have suffered and some of them will have died as a result."
Julie Bailey, 47, was so concerned about the care being given to her 86-year-old mother Bella at Stafford Hospital that she and her relatives slept in a chair at her bedside for eight weeks.
She said: "We saw patients drinking out of..."
Health care in Massachusetts: a warning for America [Romney brings Mass. to its knees]
The Bay State's mandatory insurance law is raising costs, limiting access, and lowering care.
Sedalia, Colo. - In his recent speech to Congress, President Obama could have promoted
healthcare reforms that tapped the power of a truly free market to lower costs and
improve access. Instead, he chose to offer a national version of the failing
"Massachusetts plan" based on mandatory health insurance. This is a recipe for disaster.
Three years ago, Massachusetts adopted a plan requiring all residents to purchase health
insurance, with state subsidies for lower-income residents. But rather than creating a
utopia of high-quality affordable healthcare, the result has been the exact opposite
skyrocketing costs, worsened access, and lower quality care.
Under any system of mandatory insurance, the government must necessarily define what
constitutes acceptable insurance. In Massachusetts, this has created a giant magnet for
special interest groups seeking to have their own pet benefits included in the required
package. Massachusetts residents are thus forced to purchase benefits they may neither
need nor want, such as in vitro fertilization, chiropractor services, and autism treatment
raising insurance costs for everyone to reward a few with sufficient political "pull."
Although similar problems exist in other states, Massachusetts' system of mandatory
insurance delivers the entire state population to the special interests. ."
"Severe doc shortage seen hiking wait time The Boston Herald ^ | 9/15/09 | Christine McConville As the states shortage of primary care doctors grows, people are waiting longer for medical care, according to a new survey by the Massachusetts Medical Society. The shortage is getting more severe, said Dr. Mario Motta, the medical societys president. The states health care dilemma can serve as a valuable lesson for a nation whose residents are locked in a frenzied debate about health care reform, he added."
Health costs to rise again.( RomneyCare )
The states major health insurers plan to raise premiums by about 10 percent next year,
prompting many employers to reduce benefits and shift additional costs to workers.
The higher insurance costs undermine a key tenet of the states landmark health care law
passed two years ago, as well as President Obamas effort to overhaul health care. In
addition to mandating insurance for most residents, the Massachusetts bill sought to rein
in health care costs. With Washington looking to the Massachusetts experience, fears
about higher costs have become a stumbling block to passing a national health care bill.
Romney should stick to Staples. That is quite a summary!
I suspect the rate/number of people who have broken their arm, and have it treated at a ER, is steady.
I love those posts of yours.
With any luck, the Republican primary voters hang Obamacare/Romneycare around Mitten’s neck.
Because that is what he deserves.
It isn’t about booked doctors. It’s about how much the state pays for an office visit and the fact that doctors will only accept a certain number patients on state aid. They probably can’t find a doctor that will take them.
I dont think the increase has anything to do with health care reform, she said. Its much more reflective of [primary care] access problems.
This quote illustrates a real denial of reality by health care policy drone. Of course increasing coverage for everyone in the state(thus demand) with no change in the supply of providers is a direct result of the MA health care legislation. Couple this with the fact that physicians cannot effectively raise prices and you have a migration of patients to the ER where care cannot be refused.
“Global payments, for example, in which doctors are paid a fixed annual fee intended to cover all of a patients care, discourage use of unnecessarily expensive care, he said.”
Yes, global payments do indeed discourage care at clinics and hospitals for elective surgery, but they also increase care at the ER because global payment schemes encourage rationing and under-treatment. Instead of receiving “expensive” care at the clinic or hospital, they receive expensive, less timely and less appropriate care at the ER. ER physicians are great, but they are not trained to treat chronic and elective conditions. The ER providers cannot refuse patients so they become the final dumping ground for non-compliant patients, difficult patients,annoying patients.
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