Romneycare Put Massachusetts Economy In Critical Condition

Former Governor Mitt Romney signed the Massachusetts healthcare reform law titled An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care.

The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston has released a report that shows former Governor Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare reform bill has had ill effects on employment.

Romney signed the Massachusetts healthcare reform law titled An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care. Romney claimed the law would not only expand coverage to all Massachusetts residents but would also reduce healthcare costs. The law was  used as the blueprint for President Barack Obama’s 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Beacon Hill study finds that the unintended consequences include devastating already cash-strapped employers in the State.

The study said:

…supporters of the Massachusetts reform plan argued that it would enable all residents to obtain high quality health insurance, ease the financial burden on hospitals for providing care to the uninsured, lower the cost of health insurance and eliminate ‘job‐lock’ by providing portability of insurance through the Connector [government approved insurance provider]. A key concept that proponents used to generate support was that of ‘shared responsibility.’ To be effective, said supporters of the new law, any health care reform proposal requires individuals and families, employers and government to share the burden of expanding coverage. As this study will show, this view of ‘shared responsibility’ has economic consequences.

The institute concedes that “shared responsibility” — which essentially equates to more regulators, more regulation and burdensome mandates on all — has caused many employers to move to other States and dissuaded potential new employers from considering the State as a place to operate.

The study said:

The state economy created 18,313 fewer jobs in 2010 than it would have had HCR [healthcare reform] not been in place. Keeping people employed under the health care reform law also hurt profit margins, causing firms to reduce investment in Massachusetts. We estimate that investment in Massachusetts was from $21.28 million and $29.32 million lower in 2010 as a result of HCR. The job losses have crimped income and wage growth in Massachusetts. Real (price‐adjusted) disposable income is, on average, $2.48 billion or $376 dollars per person lower in 2010 than it would have been without HCR.

According to the study, the law has harmed both the private sector and public services. The measure that was supposed to save money has cost an estimated $4.3 billion shared between the public and private sectors and taxpayers. The high cost shows up in rising labor costs for employers and higher insurance premiums for individuals — an increase of about $81.13 per year on single healthcare plans and $246.55 per year on family plans. The taxpayer paying higher premiums for his own insurance is also paying higher property and sales tax in the state for public sector insurance.

The study said:

These growing costs have absorbed a larger portion of state resources. In the private sector, the same resources could have been used to fund investment, job creation and consumer spending, which would have yielded better economic performance. In the public sector, state local governments could have saved money through reduced health insurance premiums and reduced spending, thus also reducing the need for recent sales and property tax increases.

The study concludes that many employers have opted to “vote with their feet” and do business in States not yet crippled by government healthcare mandates. The study suggests that when reforms take effect nationwide via Obamacare, the same consequences will occur.

The study said:

When states or the national government adopt policies that raise costs, local employers are put at a disadvantage and many opt to relocate to other jurisdictions. For firms with a global focus that might mean moving operations out of the country. When policies adopted at the state level impose costly mandates, companies and workers can respond by moving across state lines. The ability of firms and workers to migrate in response to such policies causes short-term jobs losses and long‐term reductions in wages and living standards.

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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