Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Give me billions and I'll save $68 million, too

The Boston Globe is fired up about the Massachusetts universal healthcare mandate saving $68 million in its fund for uninsured people because the state is sucking up billions in tax dollars to buy them insurance:
"Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, the state's secretary of Health and Human Services, said that the latest enrollment figures should bolster the state's case with the federal government."

""It shows them that it's a good model for Massachusetts," Bigby said in an interview. "The intent of healthcare reform was that if people were getting coverage," then the number of patients relying on the state and hospitals to pick up the tab for their care would decline, she said."

"That appears to be happening. For example, from July through September 2007, the most recent period for which data is available, the number of visits to hospitals and community health centers by the uninsured declined by 37 percent, compared with the same period a year earlier, the report said. That drop translated to a $68 million savings in the pool of money the state sets aside to cover the uninsured."

"Massachusetts has requested more than $11 billion in federal support during the next three years to pay for dozens of healthcare programs, including its crown jewel, its nearly universal health coverage system. The federal payments, which are crucial to keeping the landmark program afloat, were set to expire June 30, but the state has received four extensions."

Another great government success. How long before Kentucky tries to emulate it?