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Friday, October 26, 2007

Will O'Malley's health spending proposal be like Tennessee's with even more uncontrolled spending and eventual health care rationing?

(Posted 26 Oct 2007)
TennCare: What Happened.
Outside the Beltway, 23 Oct 2007 (Steve Verdon).
Part of the story those who favor some sort of government run health care repeat is that private health care is very costly. . . .

The problem I have with this . . . is the idea that government is suddenly going to be more efficient than the private sector. Government’s primary job is the creation of “red tape”. The idea that we can actually switch to the government and get less costs strains credulity past the breaking point.

Case in point: TennCare. TennCare is Tennessee’s attempt to expand health care to people who did not have health care. . . . for a few years it seemed to work. Costs declined, and more people were covered. Then costs started rising…and rising quickly . . . unless something was done the program would consume up to 90% of the State’s budget. . . .

The solution to this was to…limit access. Gee, where ever have I heard this before? Limits were put on the number of doctor’s visits, the number of prescriptions, and 160,000 people were moved out of TennCare (what happened to them, beats me).

So what happened? Government stepped in and costs spiraled out of control so much that it threatened to consume nearly the entire budget for the State. Benefits had to be rationed and/or reduced and no new enrollment. . . .
[Full report]

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