Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The news that will doom Mitt Romney

How ironic it is that one of the more promising GOP candidates for the presidency, Mitt Romney, is going to be sunk by the policy that he was so proud of - the bipartisan health care reform that has come to be known as Romneycare. A new survey of medical care in Massachusetts, as the WSJ reports, is full of bad news for both Romney and ultimately for Obama.
A new survey released yesterday by the Massachusetts Medical Society reveals that fewer than half of the state's primary care practices are accepting new patients, down from 70% in 2007, before former Governor Mitt Romney's health-care plan came online. The average wait time for a routine checkup with an internist is 48 days. It takes 43 days to secure an appointment with a gastroenterologist for chronic heartburn, up from 36 last year, and 41 days to see an OB/GYN, up from 34 last year.
This new report will be come nightly reading for Romeny's GOP competitors in the nomination battle. There is no answer that he can give to explain away such facts. However, these data will also serve as a bludgeon for President Obama's health care reforms so, as Obama has himself said, so much of Obamacare is modeled on Romneycare. Romney's Republican foes will be able to strike constant bank shots by using the results of Romneycare to attack Mitt Romney and then swivel to continue the attack on Obama. Every dismal result of Romneycare is a preview of what Obama is bringing to the rest of the country.
None of this is surprising, though it does dismantle the liberal nostrum that a new entitlement will somehow reduce health spending. When government subsidizes something, you get more of it, which means higher demand for insurance and health-care services. Combined with insurance regulations that suppress innovation and competition, this reality helps explain why Massachusetts premiums are among the highest in the U.S. The current physician shortage was inevitable without new doctors.

Massachusetts health regulators also estimate that emergency room visits jumped 9% between 2004 and 2008, in part due to the lack of routine access to providers. The Romney-Obama theory was that if everyone is insured by the government, costs would fall by squeezing out uncompensated care. Yet emergency medicine accounts for only 2% of all national health spending.

Another notable finding in the Medical Society survey is the provider flight from government health care. Merely 43% of internists and 56% of family physicians accept Commonwealth Care, the heavily subsidized middle-class insurance program. The same respective figures are 53% and 62% for price-controlled Medicaid. Government health insurance may be great, but not if it can't buy actual health care.

The Medical Society also finds "a continued deterioration of the practice environment for physicians in Massachusetts." Perhaps you should book your checkups now, in advance of the national sequel.
I have never seen a clear path for Mitt Romney to the nomination given his history of health care in Massachusetts. He has no answer to such attacks. However, his mere presence in debates will provide his GOP opponents with a rich target environment to attack Obamacare. That's not good news for President Obama but it is even worse news for Mitt Romney because the audience for such attacks is much more receptive to such factual arguments than the general population. Romney might have been a better competitor for Barack Obama in 2008 than John McCain though I don't think any GOP nominee would have won that year. Without Romneycare, he might have been one of the stronger candidates in 2012. But with Romneycare on his resumé, he is doomed. He should save himself money, time, and energy and just bow out now.

5 comments:

QDman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
QDman said...

Betsy,

I'm sorry to see that you've decided to assist the Obama administration's attempt to kneecap Romney so they don't have to face him in an election.

The differences between the two healthcare plans are many, and they are significant.

For those with open minds, do the research yourself. The "Romneycare is Obamacare" story may be conventional, but it's not wisdom.

ic said...

QDman: conventional, especially the MSM's conventional counts more than wisdom.

Granted Romneycare is not Obamacare. Is it a plus for Romney if Romneycare is proven so bad even though it is not Obamacare? Will Obamaites point out even the Republicans admit they are not the same, and claim Obamacare is superior to Romneycare? Whether Romneycare is the same as Obamacare is immaterial. Romneycare is proven a disaster. Romney is sunk. He is supposed to have a businessman's acumen to lead the country out of the current economic malaise, yet he behaved 100% politician. He has no idea of how free market works. Or worse, he did know, but his eye was on his own re-election, his own political gains over fellow Massachusettes' well beings.

Do you know how physicians get around California's socialist care? They charge a hundred fifty dollars membership fees for those who want to see their physcians right away; else, a couple of weeks's wait for urgent care. Urgent, such as an allergic reaction. And, that 150 is not covered by insurance and not chargeable to the health saving acct.

dd said...

Actually the ones who this bad news affects most is the AMERICAN PPL who are stuck with this albatross called Obamacare

Troy said...

No other answer for this you say?

Try a primary care physician shortage. High demand for a short supply of providers increase wait times.

Genius deduction I know...