Thursday, June 25, 2009

Further Away from Universal Health Insurance in Massachusetts

"We don't really care whether everybody gets insurance."

The Massachusetts Health Connector might as well emblazon that message on a banner and hang it the middle of Boston Common. It's what they're saying anyway by cutting the plan back 12%.

Already, as I have noted, many people in Massachusetts had coverage without care, because they couldn't afford to pay for the plan AND the deductible. Instead of paying the doctors, they paid the health insurers for plans that didn't give them anything.

Tuesday, the board of the Commonwealth Health Connector, which runs the mandatory insurance plan, dropped the last vestige of a pretense that everyone would even get insurance (useable or not). Are you a low-income resident, entitled by law to a full subsidy, but you forgot to sign up? Too late now. You and 18,000 people like you are out of luck. Even if you did what you were supposed to and enrolled, the Connector just snapped its collective fingers and took away your dental care. Or were you born in Ireland, or Greece, or Haiti, or El Salvador, and came to this country with full legal status? Tough. The feds aren't going to pay their share to insure you, so Massachusetts has decided you're just too expensive.

What makes it worse is that groups like Health Care for All, who should be marching in the streets, are busy making excuses for Massachusetts instead.

But the group said state officials appear to have made the best of a bad situation. “There’s no other place to go for money,’’ said Lindsey Tucker, the organization’s healthcare reform manager. “. . . My concern is people will not get the care that they need.’

Damn straight they won't! And it is not a health advocate's place to take the state off the hook. There are plenty of places to go for money. We just need politicians with backbones, and voters with consciences. We won't get either by dumping low-income and immigrant residents over the side of the leaky health insurance plan to lighten the load for the rich and powerful in this state.

1 comment:

Mikey said...

Off topic!

Dear Dennis Fischman,

Thank you for commenting on my recent post on Karl Marx and Radical Antisemitism on Harry's Place web site

where I had cited your own book on Karl Marx and the Jewish Question.

You may not be aware, but I also wrote a follow up post to that one.

It can be seen at the following URL:

You will see that in this post I also quoted your own book and footnoted the reference.


Michael Ezra