Sunday, March 13, 2011

News Article on Romney

I found a good article about Mitt in a Massachusetts newspaper. Here are some of the highlights on healthcare:

I myself was there closely watching the discussion about The Problem: an expensive health insurance system that was subsidizing the uninsured through what was called the "uncompensated care pool," which imposed higher-than-necessary premiums on us insured citizens to pay hospitals to provide free care, much of it taking place in overcrowded emergency rooms.
My own organization insured four of us who were subsidizing people who did not have insurance. We heard stories about long, often painful waits in emergency rooms that are required by the federal government to treat everyone. Various administrations and interest groups had been trying to find a solution for years.
Then along came Mitt. ("Why the h-e-double-hockey-sticks is everyone standing around?")
He got "everyone" together for very public hearings and forums, legislation was drafted, proposed, amended and passed. Mitt vetoed some sections he found problematic, but was overridden by the Democratic Legislature.
Still, the new health insurance law worked the first year. My organization's premiums actually dropped, as has the money for the uncompensated care pool. Mitt moved on, leaving a competent lieutenant, Kerry Healey, to run, unfortunately unsuccessfully, for the job in 2006.
The necessary follow-up phases to the new law, like cost containment, weren't done; while the Legislature added mandates like a prescription drug benefit that my organization didn't want but was forced to buy. I complained to my legislators (for all the good that does; though as governor, Mitt also tried to get new legislators elected to advance other aspects of his reform agenda).
Sometimes, in Massachusetts, "Can Do" doesn't get done because voters prefer that "D" stand for Democrat instead of decisive action.

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