Sunday, April 3, 2011

RomneyCare Not Socialized Medicine

Dennis Byron, a blogger who is no fan of RomneyCare, gets frustrated when people say that RomneyCare is a socialized medicare. He provides a short explanation of why RomneyCare is not socialized medicine
  • Our docs don't work for the state like in the UK.
  • I have to buy state-approved insurance coverage but I can buy it from a half dozen insurers (the fact that that number is shrinking instead of expanding is one of the failures of Romneycare). 
  • The state can only jawbone premium rate increases, not dictate them. (This was upheld by the Department of Insurance in August 2010 when Governor Patrick lost a battle with the insurers over who controls individual insurance rates, a loss that -- to his credit -- he deftly turned into a win.) And currently that jawboning only applies to people that buy insurance individually or in small groups, representing only about 12% of state residents covered.
  • Hospital prices used to be regulated at one time long before Romneycare when hospitals were mostly charitable organizations; they have not been regulated for 20 years.
Let me offer some additional reasons why RomneyCare isn't a socialist program: 
  • There is no state take over of private health insurance plans.
  • They are not required to join a specific health care company. They are simply required to have health care insurance.
  • RomneyCare operates like a voucher in which people who cannot afford health care are given money provided by the Federal Government to choose which health care plan they want to join. However, at the same time, while they are assistance from the government, its not a 100% free ride. They are expected to a contribute a certain amount towards the purchase of their own health insurance.
  • RomneyCare applies free market principles. Insurance companies are free to compete with one another, offer competitive prices and consumers are free to choose among the many companies who are offering services at competitive prices. Consumers are free to join any insurance company they want.
Perhaps the biggest reason why RomneyCare isn't socialized medicine is lies in who is responsible for paying for health care. Under socialist medicine, the state is not only the provider of medicine but it also the one who pays for your medical care. However, under RomneyCare, there is no state run health insurance program, no state hospital and the state doesn't pay for people's visit to the doctor. 
On conservative website, Red State, Jeff Fuller explains the legislative intent behind RommeyCare:
"This law appropriately shifts the burden of the uninsured away from the Emergency rooms and hospitals (and indirectly to taxpayers and those facing higher insuracne premiums) to the individuals . . . exactly where it should be." 
According to Jeff Fuller, we already have individual mandates in this country which requires hospital to pay for the medical costs of their uninsured clients: 
"You see, under COBRA and EMTALA federal laws, ERs and Hospitals ARE CURRENTLY MANDATED to treat all comers for emergency services regardless of their insurance--or lack thereof."
Jeff Fuller also points out that RomneyCare is not a socialist program but a conservative one since it introduces the idea of personal responsibility in which the people themselves are responsible for paying for their health insurance or finding an health insurance company who will provide health insurance. Even people who are unable to pay for their own health insurance are required to contribute some amount of money towards the purchase of their health care: 
"Another great aspect of this plan is that it requires even the poor to pay at least something for their healthcare (excluding Medicaid recipients). Romney keeps saying that this plan will eliminate the "free lunch" mentality toward healthcare that many low income earners have. This will also build self-worth and individual accountability as the self-defeating hand-out system will diminish greatly. The private insurance premiums will be subsidized by the government on a sliding-scale for lower-income individuals and the very poorest will still be captured and covered, at least in part, by Medicaid funding."
Finally, another reason why RomneyCare isn't socialized medicine is because real socialists organizations and its supporters of socialism do not view ObamaCare or RomneyCare as socialist programs. Its worth reading to understand why socialist don't support ObamaCare or RomneyCare.
In the end, those who claim that RomneyCare is a socialist program, are people who don't know what they're talking about. They don't understand the doctrines of socialism, the philosophy of socialism or how socialist apply their views in the real word. 
Furthermore, these people have clearly not done their homework on RomneyCare. They haven't researched it or learned about the various aspects of RomneyCare. Many of those people who call RomneyCare a socialist program are, often times, uniformed about Mitt's health care plan and just lazily put a dismissive label of "socialized medicine" on this program so that they do not have to think about it. Many of them just throw that term around hoping that it sticks so that they can scare people away from supporting Mitt Romney. 

1 comment:

  1. J,

    Thanks for the mention in your blog of my post. This is an excellent post yourself. The notion that Romneycare is socialized medicine is laughably absurd.