Tag Archives: Massachusetts

RomneyCare: The Spin Begins


Anticipating the coming 2012 campaign, FactCheck.org takes a detailed look at the results of the 2006 Massachusetts health care law. Because of the similarities to the federal bill, much spin is predicted. FactCheck summarizes its findings:

  • The major components of the state and federal law are similar, but details vary. The federal law put a greater emphasis on cost-control measures, for instance. Massachusetts is just now tackling that.
  • The state law was successful on one big goal: A little more than 98 percent of state residents now have insurance.
  • Claims that the law is “bankrupting” the state are greatly exaggerated. Costs rose more quickly than expected in the first few years, but are now in line with what the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation had estimated.
  • Small-business owners are perhaps the least happy stakeholders. Cheaper health plans for them through the state exchange haven’t materialized, as they hoped.
  • Despite claims to the contrary, there’s no clear evidence that the law had an adverse effect on waiting times. In fact, 62 percent of physicians say it didn’t.
  • Public support has been high. One poll found that 68.5 percent of nonelderly adults supported the law in 2006; 67 percent still do.

The article is long but worth a read. Check the section “What Happened to Premiums?” (The short answer is that overall they went down — but, of course, it’s much more complicated than that.) Prepare to consume mass quantities of hot air in the lead-up to the election.

Joe Bageant, 1946-2011
Joe Bageant, author of the incomparable Deer Hunting with Jesus and the recently-released Rainbow Pie died yesterday following a four-month struggle with cancer. He was 64. Joe wrote about poverty and class in America with humor and love. His work will live on.

Let’s not forget . . .

In my local paper, Jeremy Wallace adds some oft-overlooked perspective to Brown’s win in Massachusetts. Cable TV take note:

“”Though Massachusetts has a heavy Democratic registration, in my time working for the Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette I found that voters there have shown more of a willingness to vote Republican than many would expect from a traditionally liberal state. In fact when Deval Patrick won the governors mansion in 2006, he became the first Democrat to hold that office since 1990, when Michael Dukakis left office. William Weld, Paul Cellucci, Jane Swift and Mitt Romney kept the office in GOP hands until Patrick.

But the Senate races have shown signs as well. The seat Sen. John Kerry won in the 1980s, was held by Edward Brooke, a Republican from the late 1960s until 1979. . . .it is not shocking to me to see Republicans with a legitimate shot of winning a statewide seat there.”

Kennedy weeps

Many people will believe Massachusetts happened because of Obama. Massachusetts happened because:

Coakley was a lousy candidate, who ran a lousy campaign. On top of it she was tone deaf to what’s going on around her. She took the vote for granted. And interestingly, even though Kennedy had always won by a huge margin, he never ever took the voters for granted. He campaigned in the streets every single time. She didn’t. Also, she was a snob.

Plus, Brown is a hunk and ran a fabulous campaign. Plus, the number one thing people vote on is their pocketbook.

As recently as two–three weeks ago, she was ahead. That’s when the FOXish media (Rush et al) got really big and noisy about Brown, national money started pouring in to his campaign, and he took it all and ran. His voters got very motivated. She saw that and didn’t change a single thing.

He never mentioned he was the Republican candidate, acted as if he were an independent. He tapped the unaffiliated anger out there. He tapped the tea partiers.

The other night, Jon Stewart said: “ . . .if Coakley loses, Democrats will only have an 18 vote majority in the Senate, which is more than George W. Bush ever had in the Senate when he did whatever the fuck he wanted to. . . It’s not that the Democrats are playing checkers and the Republicans are playing chess. It’s that the Republicans are playing chess and the Democrats are in the nurse’s office because once again they glued their balls to their thighs.”

So that was a big issue too . . .