Economics 101

Give away something for free, people take more of it. Health care costs soar in Massachusetts under free health care program. Just wait for national health care and its cost controls.

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  1. James O'Boston

    There’s so much fog around the coverage of this story that I can’t sort it, even with my state-subsidized counselor at my side, and a reasonable $15 co-pay for the meds.

    Listen – health care isn’t free in MA. People pay for it. I pay for it. Matter of fact, I pay about the same as I would in, more or less, 49 other states. before this program came into existence, i was paying about 3.5x what people in other states pay for comparable coverage.

    Also, part of the point of this (ignoring for now the “useful attrition of weaklings” arguments that some otherwise upright thinkers seem to pull out at this point in the discussion) was to get people into healthcare before the crisis. So yes, there is more usage of available services. The general argument there, and I have a hard time disagreeing, is that society benefits when its members are healthy. The weakest and poorest, in particular, don’t ever get healthy by going to emergency rooms in crisis, over and over, and that’s exactly what they did before MA created these health care plans.

    Where’s the waste? I’ll tell you… the plans are horribly administered, from internal processes to public communication to billing, to online information… beyond that, check out the articles about all the price fixing among insurance carriers and hospitals. That’s where the lion’s share of rate increases came from – not from citizens accessing health care.

    Boy howdy is sure is easy these days to blame the financial guys… and for once, seems like the easy answer is also the correct answer.