Some features of the current Massachusetts law would be prohibited by the ACA. Massachusetts permits insurers to offer discounts to, for example, someone who works in a low-risk industry or participates in a wellness program. The federal law, on the other hand, requires premiums to be based on a single set of factors: family composition, the ages of covered members, tobacco usage, and geographical location. According to state officials, this will cause premiums to rollercoaster, resulting in “extreme premium increases” for many, and a decline for others.
A Pioneer Institute analysis found that 60 percent of small businesses in Massachusetts will experience a rate hike — for some the increase will be over 98 percent — due to this one regulatory change. These same employers are already bracing for the law’s 18 new taxes.
Source: National Review.
That’s from Dr. Ronald Dunlap, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. He’s commenting on a new survey showing:
The results are similar to last year’s survey that found 50 percent of family doctors and 51 percent of internists open to new patients in Massachusetts.
The average wait time for a non-emergency appointment with a primary care doctor in the latest survey is 39 days for family physicians, an improvement from 45 days last year. But the wait time to see an internist was 50 days, up from 44 days a year ago.
[T]he great bulk of the cost of newly offered coverage will come, not out of profits or hiring, but out of worker cash wages. That is what happened in Massachusetts when “RomneyCare” was implemented. While there was little impact on the overall labor market, there was a striking change for those workers who gained new insurance: they saw wage reductions (relative to the trend) of almost precisely the cost of health insurance to their employers. Adding further evidence for the power of the employer side of the labor market to adjust in the face of an individual as well as an employer mandate, the number of employers offering health insurance actually increased following reform.
By Mark Pauly, et al.
The untold story of the Massachusetts reform is that the small business community has been paying more for health insurance since the commonwealth’s 2006 reform merged sicker individuals into the same risk pool. The legislature has only made matters worse by passing 12 additional mandated benefits since 2006, a cost borne completely by small companies and individuals.
Now the future looks even bleaker for small business. Not only will their highest-in-the-nation premiums go up because of these new [ACA] regulations, but they will be paying on average $8,000 per family, per plan more in taxes over the next ten years.
More from Josh Archambault.
Calculations by the Heritage Foundation via the Urban Institute:
- 40 of 50 states are projected to see increases in costs due to the Medicaid expansion.
- The majority of states see costs exceed savings when the federal match rate is lowered after the first three years. From there, state costs continue to climb, dwarfing any projected savings.
- State savings are concentrated in large states. New York is estimated to see $33 billion in savings, while Massachusetts is estimated to save $6 billion over 10 years.
Massachusetts has been walking down this exchange-and-public-program-expansion road for six years now, since Mitt Romney signed RomneyCare. Massachusetts has been vacuuming up doctors and nurses from Costa Rica and elsewhere and still has been finding that the cost of treating your state population is higher when 97% are insured than it was when 88% were insured. And there aren’t enough loose doctors and nurses in the rest of the world for the ACA [Affordable Care Act] to vacuum up enough of them to meet the needs of not 1 state but 50 states.
…What is your guess as to what will happen if the ACA works for access, works for quality, works for coverage — but the extra health-care workforce needed isn’t there, and the lines start to get longer.