State Treasurer: MA-type health care could ‘wipe out’ U.S. economy

by Steve LeBlanc
Associated Press
The Boston Globe
3/16/2010

BOSTON—The Massachusetts treasurer said Tuesday that Congress will “threaten to wipe out the American economy within four years” if it adopts a health care overhaul modeled after the Bay State’s.

Treasurer Timothy Cahill — a former Democrat running as an independent for governor — said the 2006 law has succeeded only because of huge subsidies and favorable regulatory changes from the federal government.

“Who, exactly, is going to bail out the federal government if this plan goes national?” He asked.

Cahill made his remarks after Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, accused him and Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker of being silent amid the ongoing health care debates.

Cahill said he’s called for the state to abandon its plan, and for the federal government not to match it.

He also gave reporters a copy of a state ledger sheet showing the state’s Medicaid program ballooning from $7.5 billion to a projected $9.2 billion since the health care law was adopted. Of the 407,000 newly insured, only 32 percent paid for insurance wholly on their own.

The remaining received partial or total taxpayer subsidies…

…Cahill said the Massachusetts equivalent, the Health Care Connector, had helped only 5 percent of those who bought private insurance without any type of government assistance.

While the Massachusetts program has increased access to health insurance, he said it hasn’t cut underlying cost increases, steering more people to a broken system.

“If President (Barack) Obama and the Democrats repeat the mistake of the health insurance reform adopted here in Massachusetts on a national level, they will threaten to wipe out the American economy within four years,” the treasurer said…

Read the entire article at The Boston Globe.

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