The article points out that before Mitt Romney became governor, Massachusetts had a number of laws that resulted in a very expensive healthcare system. Governor Romney was attempting to rein in those costs. Unfortunately, he was dealing with an 85 percent Democratic legislature that totally twisted his ideas and passed something very different than what he had envisioned.
The article points out:
Romney’s idea was to permit Massachusetts insurers to sell catastrophic plans. As Avik Roy explained in Forbes, “Shorn of the costly mandates and restrictions originating in earlier state laws, these plans, called ‘Commonwealth Care Basic,’ could cost much less. Romney also proposed merging the non-group and small-group markets, so as to give individuals access to the more cost-effective plans available to small businesses.” Romney’s plan would also have involved a degree of cost sharing so that those receiving subsidies would have an incentive to minimize their consumption.
This is very different from the plan that was eventually passed. The law was later changed under Governor Deval Patrick, requiring insurance companies to offer three tiers of coverage — all of them far beyond catastrophic care.
The article further reminds us:
Romney’s proposed reforms included fraud prevention measures for Medicaid, requiring the income of both parents to be considered in children’s Medicaid eligibility, medical malpractice tort reform, and giving individuals the same treatment as small businesses in the purchase of health plans. He envisioned a system of increased competition and choice.
Had the bill that Governor Romney wanted passed, healthcare in Massachusetts would be a good example for the nation. The plan the legislature passed and Governor Patrick modified is a nightmare for the sate and the nation.