They lead – let’s not follow

Maine’s health care program, “Dirigo” (I lead) is a failure, according to today’s NY Times.

This is not what the supporters expected. Dirigo, with all the features Cos Cob’s Jimbo Himes and his ilk whooped through the House last week, was supposed to solve the problems of uninsured patients and soaring health care costs and its adoption was cheered:

“A success”.

Business Week thought it was “promising”.

“America’s Agenda”, 2005: “Way to go, Dirigo! Big Win in Maine!”

Progressive States Network was sure the state had only to resist “Big Business” and it would continue its achievements.

Etc. etc. Google “Dirigo success” and see all the same arguments and predictions we’re been hearing nationally for the past few years. It would be discouraging if it weren’t for the eternal optimism of socialized medicine’s profound belief in the ultimate power of the government to fix anything.


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2 responses to “They lead – let’s not follow

  1. '73Refugee

    Democrats should look at Massachusetts and Tennessee for other broken healthcare models.

    That is, if you don’t feel the need to check out how well the British, Canadian and French systems are working.

    Of course, they think they know better.

    Or maybe not. Perhaps it’s just about creating dependency and power?

  2. Old School Grump

    ALL the current approaches to “the health care issue” are pretty much useless because they duck and dive and completely avoid the two core problems:

    1) They will not address the enormous percentage of health care expenditures that are run up in peoples’ final year of life. This is the third rail of health care politics.

    2) They will not decide whether health insurance is an entitlement that is guaranteed by the government or a product that is sold by businesses. Instead, they think they can sustain a magical hybrid, provided of course that the “correct” regulations are put in place.

    Yeah, right.

    I am no fan of the health insurance companies — you wouldn’t be either if you’d spend seven self-employed years across two states figuring out how to maintain individual health insurance policies for your family — but I do respect the fact that they are businesses. Even non-profits have to pull in more than they pay out to stay afloat. I am continuously amused by players who announce “health insurance companies will no longer be permitted to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.” You’ll notice that they never address the next logical question, which is … what will they charge for these policies?

    If they try (or are forced) to raise rates for the desirable candidate (e.g., the healthy 25 year old) to maintain affordable rates for the undesirable candidate (e.g., the overweight diabetic 55 year old), they will be … pretty much where Dirigo is. Not exactly a workable business model.

    In my various individual health insurance adventures, I once had to search out new coverage because our carrier just flat out announced it was going out of business in our state. I can see a lot of that happening in the next decade or so.