The Wall Street Journal has published an article with the latest news from Massachusetts — the state whose universal health care program served as the model for the federal program that will soon be taking effect nationwide. The news, to put it mildly, is not good. The highlights (or rather lowlights):
* The Massachusetts plan increased private employer-sponsored plan premiums by an average of 6 percent.
* Massachusetts has the highest average premiums in the United States.
* There is rampant and growing abuse of the state’s “individual mandate,” in which people buy insurance only when they are about to incur significant medical expenses and then drop the coverage after the expenses have been covered by insurance.
* The state imposed price caps on insurance rates that had no actuarial support (but were politically popular), even though underlying state health costs are rising at a rate of 8 percent annually.
I am sure that all working Americans will welcome increased health plan premiums, to go along with the tax increases that will take effect starting in 2011.