Two of the titans of RomneyCare research -- Brian Rosman of the left-wing Healthcare for All and Josh Ambichault of the right-wing Pioneer Institute -- faced off in a recent online debate over RomneyCare 2.0 as it is rapidly becoming known. (I prefer DeLeoCare but my term is just not catching on. )
I pay attention to what Rosman and Ambichault say because they are the only experts in Massachusetts that do not claim to be architects of RomneyCare. Part of their debate focused on the "where will the savings come from" question that I asked here when RomneyCare 2.0 was first announced in its House of Representatives version.
The unlikely answer from Rosman: Medicare beneficiaries.
At about the 4:50 minute mark, Rosman says the House of Representatives wants the state to get a "Medicare wavier" to help solve the issue raised by me and Ambichault that most Massachusetts residents are not subject to state regulation of their healthcare insurance. That is, simplistically, Rosman says that our state reps want to move all Medicare subscribers into an HMO with capitation.
Never going to happen in Massachusetts. There is a better chance that we'll all start rooting for the Yankees. I can't believe any Mass. state reps who want to get re-elected even voted for such a things (which means they probably didn't read the DeLeoCare bill before voting... sound familiar?)
Just for background, states like Oregon (according to Democratic Senator Wyden) have about 40% or more of their seniors on HMOs. Nationally the number of seniors in Medicare Part C is a little over 25% (that includes some membership in PPOs as well; in other words it's still networked whether a PPO or an HMO). Massachusetts is one of the states that helps make up for Oregon and achieve the national average. Massachusetts seniors love their Medigap. A lot of us are on retiree plans as well but that number is shrinking.
On the average, we don't want no stinking insurance company telling us what doctor we can or cannot see or that we can't go to Mass General to have our blood pressure readings. Try again, DeLeo.
-- Dennis Byron