The similarities between ObamaCare and Mitt Romney’s signature legislative achievement, the Massachusetts healthcare reform law, have been pointed out by many observers and fact-checkers. In 2010, the Cato Institute put out a video featuring David Boaz and Michael Cannon who explained the how the two laws are essentially one in the same; not just because of the individual mandate (though it’s a big part), but also the subsidies and exchanges required in the plans.
Of course, Romney denies the similarites, insists his plan was based on free market prinicples and is conservative, oftening raising the federalism argument; that his state did what was best for them. But a new study from Health Affairs, which was referenced by Rick Santorum during last Thursday’s debate, highlights the fact that RomneyCare was the model for ObamaCare:
Massachusetts is in its sixth year of a reform initiative that provided the template for the federal Affordable Care Act of 2010. The Bay State’s health care reform bill, An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care, was passed in 2006, during the administration of Gov. Mitt Romney (R). Its components include Medicaid expansion, subsidized private health insurance, a health insurance exchange, insurance market reforms, and requirements for individuals and employers—all elements included in federal health reform. As the nation continues a contentious debate on the potential benefits and costs of federal health reform, Massachusetts’s experience provides an early indication of potential gains and challenges.
The study is nine pages long, so I’m not going to bore you with all the details includes, though James Pethokoukis has an excellent run down of some of the numbers from the study worth loo, king over.
Keep in mind that as ObamaCare was making its way through Congress, the White House and Democratic leaders constantly told us that the law would help keep healthcare costs down. If RomneyCare is any indicator, ObamaCare is going to fail:
Nearly one in four of these adults reported unmet need for care, often because of health care costs. Consistent with that finding, Massachusetts continues to struggle with escalating health care costs, reflecting the decision to defer addressing costs in the 2006 legislation so as not to hold up the expansion in coverage.
RomneyCare has also had funding issues as more people decided to obtain subsidized coverage, which has led to federal taxpayer-funded bailouts. It’s certainly a precursor of things to come with ObamaCare.