Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Making Workers Pay for Coverage without Care

A month ago, I wrote about business resistance to paying more for the Massachusetts health plan:

It just goes to show the reason they supported it in the first place. They didn't care about all the families in Massachusetts who can't afford health care. They wanted to shift the cost of health insurance to you and me.

Today's Boston Globe shows that journalists have bought into the business and state government point of view. They are measuring the success of the program by how little either corporations or the Commonwealth has to pay, and not by how sick or how well we are. A whole article under the title "439,000 more get health coverage, " and not one word about whether anyone will actually get more health care! On the other hand, the reporter makes a point of stating:

The dramatic expansion has spurred a substantial drop in patients seeking routine care in hospital emergency rooms, where treatment is much more expensive. The reduction is already saving the state millions of dollars, the quarterly report said.

Are the patients not using emergency rooms because they can get care in doctors' offices? Or, are they not using the ER because they've gotten the message they're not welcome there? No one knows. Who cares? "The reduction is already saving the state millions of dollars," and that was the point all along. Shame on the people perpetrating the fiction of universal health care in Massachusetts.

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