Massachusetts Passes Health Care Price Controls. Costs Rise Anyway.

77c6but usually price controls wor Massachusetts Passes Health Care Price Controls. Costs Rise Anyway.

When Mitt Romney made the case
for a state-level health reform as governor of Massachusetts, he

promised that insurance would become affordable and “the costs
of health care will be reduced.” That didn’t work out so well.
Costs continued to rise, and health insurance premiums in the state
were among the nation’s most expensive. So last year, Romney’s
Democratic successor, Deval Patrick, signed into law an ambitious
cap on health cost increases. But now it appears that Patrick’s
price controls may not work very well either.
Earlier this week, the Boston Globe
reported that after a brief period of moderating growth “health
care prices—and insurance premiums—may soon start accelerating
again, exceeding a heralded cost cap set by the state last year.”
The Globe points to several reasons why this is the case, including
a wave of mergers, and some federal rule changes related to
ObamaCare. But mostly it just appears that health care prices and
utilization are outpacing economic growth.
“Health insurers in Massachusetts estimate the ‘medical cost
trend’ — an industry measure based on the price of services and the
volume of doctor visits, procedures, and tests — will rise between
6 and 12 percent this year,” according to the Globe. “That
would be more than double the state’s anticipated rate of economic
growth.” It is mystifying indeed to see that state-imposed price
controls are failing to restrain cost growth. ;

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Massachusetts Passes Health Care Price Controls. Costs Rise Anyway.


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