July 9, 2008 3:28PM

Massachusetts Opts to Keep Digging

Yesterday, I blogged about Ezra Klein’s claim that universal coverage would help contain health care spending. Klein writes:

This is, at least in the abstract, the political logic of focusing on access first: Expanding access creates pressures that force the system to figure out how to control costs.

That’s what I quoted yesterday. Here are Klein’s next two sentences, about how his theory is unfolding in Massachusetts, which has implemented what the Boston Globe calls a “near‐​universal health insurance law”:

There’s evidence this is beginning to happen in Massachusetts. The legislature is beginning to consider cost‐​control measures.

Oh, are they?

Today, the Boston Globe reports that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires consumers to buy so many different types of insurance benefits that it increases premiums by about 6 percent. So how is the legislature grappling with the problem of already expensive premiums that are growing faster than inflation? According to the Globe:

State lawmakers are now considering proposals that could require employers to add more benefits, including expanded mental healthcare coverage.

Wow. I don’t think we can afford much more of this cost containment.

HT: David Hogberg.