It turns out that we’ve got a lot fewer uninsured folks in MA than 2004. There are big questions about who’s got the best numbers, but according to the State, the ranks of the uninsured are down a whopping 19% since 2004. Wow. The press release credits the early-stage implementation of the new health care law and job growth for the drop.
Now, the press release is missing its backup data; John McDonough suggests it’s because the Romney administration wanted to get out the numbers before the US Census Bureau’s numbers, which come out tomorrow. The Census generally shows much higher numbers of uninsured.
Mitt says, “Early phases of healthcare reform are bearing fruit,” — when in fact, it’s the low-hanging fruit that we’ve collected: Those eligible for Medicaid (MassHealth) but were unenrolled. That was really the slam-dunk part of the new health care law — getting those folks covered. Well, now they are.
So, for all the angst about the new health care law, the relatively easy first part has been successful. The scary part — figuring out how much to subsidize the health care of lower-income folks, and how and on whom to implement the personal mandate — is being ground out right now by the “Connector”, the panel of folks charged with writing the regulations. (Healthy Blog’s always got all the gory details.)
Bottom line: Fiscally, it looks like the health care bill got a lot easier to manage. If the Feds’ numbers basically agree with the trend, a sigh of relief may well be in order — pretty uncommon in health care recently.
… By the way, check out how the politics shake out in Ohio governor’s race, now that one of the candidates has proposed a Massachusetts-style health care reform. (Don’t peek! Guess: R or D?)