August 5, 2009 10:32AM

On Health Reform, Massachusetts Is the Model

Last week, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) penned a wonderfully misleading oped for USA Today. In response, I submitted this poor, unsuccessful letter to the editor:

If Massachusetts were covering the uninsured for less than $800 a pop, as former Gov. Mitt Romney suggests [“Mr. President, What’s the Rush?”, July 30], then the health reforms he signed in 2006 would truly be a model for the nation. Yet data from the very watchdog organization Romney cites (the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation) indicate something different.

The Massachusetts reforms cost more than five times what Romney claims, because the state pushed more than 80 percent of the cost off‐​budget, and onto private individuals and the federal government. In fact, “RomneyCare” covers a family of four at a cost of at least $27,000 – more than twice the average cost of employer‐​sponsored coverage ($12,680).

Romney is correct that President Barack Obama has the wrong prescription for health reform. But that’s because Obama’s approach is Romney’s approach. Like Romney, Obama would have government force people to purchase health insurance; control the content, terms, and price of “private” health insurance policies; expand Medicaid; and create new government subsidies and bureaucracies. Like Romney, Obama would push most of the cost off‐​budget by imposing mandates on states and private individuals – which constitutes a huge tax increase on the middle class.

ObamaCare, like RomneyCare, is socialized medicine with a private façade.