Monday, November 16, 2009

A Thanksgiving Before Healthcare Reform: From the Land of the Pilgrims

I have a cousin who lives just outside of Boston. He's a very bright guy -- an architect -- who is less than pleased with the Massachusetts plan for healthcare. He hints that having to file an additional form with one's tax return (to assure that you're contributing your appropriate, fair share) is about as much fun as a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as my Mama used to say, and just about as useful.

The following are excerpts from the weekend's email correspondence:

"Following up on earlier emails re: the health-care mess, I thought you might be interested in this excerpt from a fairly recent Boston Herald article:

Wading into the contentious national health-care debate...[Massachusetts State] Treasurer Timothy Cahill blasted the state's landmark plan and warned President Obama that a similar scheme could bankrupt the country.

"If universal health care is breaking us, what's it going to do to the federal government?" Cahill told the Herald yesterday.

The treasurer...said the state's universal health-care plan...focused on insuring all state residents first and controlling costs second. As a result, Cahill said, the plan has been a major drag on the state budget.

"Health-care spending has exploded, and unless the federal government continues to reimburse us, we cannot afford it," Cahill said. "But who's going to bail the federal government out? Probably us, the taxpayers."

A report by the Massachusetts Taxpayers
Foundation, a business-based organization that supported health-care reform,
found that Bay State spending on the health-care overhaul has increased by about
$88 million annually since the law was passed.

Out of the $10 billion spent on health care in the state's fiscal 2010 budget, $1.7 billion is spent on health-care reform.

It reminds me of a quote by Thomas Jefferson: "If I could not go to heaven but with a [political] party, I would not go there at all."

I replied:

"Thanks for the update. I shudder to think what's to become of you in Massachusetts if this debacle passes at the national level. You might just as well open a vein with a direct line going into the tax coffers."

His observation:

"People will continue leaving the state in droves -- but once the feds wade in, there'll be nowhere to run to."

Giving the IRS yet more responsibility and authority, plus ineffective actual healthcare delivery. How's that for an uplifting start to the week before Thanksgiving.

"Nowhere to run to." New Zealand, maybe? 1981?

UPDATE: I'm going to have to try to figure out what happened to the quote. I hate computers on Mondays.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Come to think on it... I've never heard a (Fed) gub'mint healthcare defender cite Mass as a "success story." But I HAVE heard a number of Republicans point out that Mass is in seriously deep kimchee over its program.