Massachusetts, the model for Obamacare, has highest health costs in the United States
By PHILIP KLEIN | DECEMBER 28, 2013 AT 11:50 AM
On Oct. 30, as President Obama was under fire for the botched rollout of his signature health care law, he visited Boston's Faneuil Hall. It was in that hall in 2006 that then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, with a smiling Ted Kennedy by his side, signed a sweeping health care overhaul into law that would eventually become the model for Obamacare.
As with Obamacare, the Massachusetts program (also known as Romneycare), expanded Medicaid, mandated that individuals purchase government-approved coverage, and provided subsidies to individuals to purchase government-designed insurance plans on a government-run exchange.
In his October remarks, Obama used the Massachusetts experience to argue that Obamacare could work, despite what the naysayers claimed.
"All the parade of horribles, the worst predictions about health care reform in Massachusetts never came true," Obama said. "They're the same arguments that you're hearing now ... Care didn't become unaffordable; costs tracked what was happening in other places that wasn't covering everybody."
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Yet a new report from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission reached a different conclusion.
As Modern Healthcare reports:
Massachusetts, whose health care reform program was used as a template for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, had the highest per capita health spending in the U.S. in 2009. According to the commission's report, the state spent $9,278 per person on health care in 2009, which was 36 percent higher than the national average of $6,815, and 11.2 percent more than the next-highest state, New York, which spent $8,341.