New York Times’ Funny Math on Massachusetts Health Care

Only in government-run health care, or in the editorial offices of the New York Times, would it be considered a “success” to spend over $3 to solve a $1 problem.

Dazzled by the lure of so-called “universal” health care, the NY Times editorial board enthuses that two thirds of the estimated 650,000 whom the Bay State now compels to buy private health insurance have done sCritics, at Pacific Research Institute and other State Policy Network members have demonstrated that the Massachusetts reform, in fact, went off the rails very quickly.

Curiously, even the figures reported in the editorial lead to the conclusion that this is a massively expensive experiment with miniscule results. The editorial reports that hospitals’ uncompensated care dropped from $166 million in the first quarter of 2007 down to $98 million in the first quarter of 2008. That’s $68 million, or $272 million a year.

The state budget for the program is going to be $869 million this fiscal year. $272 million in savings for $869 million of costs: that’s $3.19 of taxpayers’ dollars spent for every dollar of uncompensated care avoided. And that is only the government spending, on top of the money ponied up by people forced to buy health insurance directly, that they did not previously think was value for money.

It’s time for some remedial math education in the New York Times editorial offices.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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