Massachusetts Rationing Shows What’s Coming to America Under Obamacare

Massachusetts Rationing Shows What’s Coming to America Under Obamacare

by Burke Balch, J.D. | Washington, DC | | 11/6/13 6:54 PM

President Obama is holding up the Massachusetts health care law as a good precedent for what Obamacare will bring when fully implemented. It’s a good precedent, all right–for the rationing now under way in the Bay State that the national law will all too soon impose on the entire country.

In an October 30, 2013, speech in Boston’s Faneuil Hall, the President claimed, “[A]ll the parade of horribles, the worst predictions about health care reform in Massachusetts never came true. They’re the same arguments that you’re hearing now. . . . [I]t’s easy to scare folks. And it’s no surprise that some to the same folks trying to scare people now are the same folks who’ve been trying to sink the Affordable Care Act from the beginning.”

At the National Right to Life Committee, we only regret that we weren’t able to scare enough people to prevent enactment of the Massachusetts law and Obamacare – because if we had, those in Massachusetts wouldn’t be facing rationed health care today and the whole nation wouldn’t be on the way to facing worse and worse rationing in coming years.

What happened in Massachusetts? We warned from the beginning that over-promising plus under-funding forces rationing. In 2006, Massachusetts passed a mandate for universal health insurance, with subsidies to enable the low-income uninsured to afford it. To pay for the subsidies, the state law cobbled together a series of funding sources, including federal payments, existing state funds for health care for the uninsured, and other sources of revenue, none of which were based on what people actually pay for health care.

We repeatedly said that without an adequate, sustainable funding mechanism to pay for the entitlement, the state would wind up imposing limits on treatment – rationing. (For a 2009 presentation at the Massachusetts Citizens for Life Convention reiterating and explaining this prediction, see here.)

By 2010, facing a mounting gap between the cost of subsidies and the available revenue, Governor Deval Patrick sent a bill to the state legislature with sweeping measures to limit what Massachusetts citizens would be allowed to spend to save the lives of their family members.

Both laws rely on bureaucratic micromanagement that minutely dictates what treatment will and will not be allowed to be available. And both will result in patients losing access to life-saving medical treatment through what amounts to direct and indirect rationing of health care.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s