Six years ago today, Mitt Romney signed a health-care reform bill in Massachusetts, now known as “Romneycare.”
Democrats we’re hoping to talk about it all day today and do some damage to Romney. They even produced a big video about it.
But now the entire day has been dedicated to talking about Ann Romney, and whether she can understand the concerns of women because she was a stay-at-home mother. Because a Democratic consultant insulted her last night on CNN.
All the hullabaloo is preventing you from seeing this chart:
Photo: The Incidental Economist
The above chart just looks at Medicaid spending. Zirui Song, and Bruce E. Landon produced a study looking at health-care spending in Massachusetts after “Romneycare passed.” The takeaway: it is exploding and totally unsustainable.
Massachusetts spent more than $61 billion on health care in 2009, a figure that places it among the highest-spending states in the country.1 In the past 5 years, growth in health care spending has consistently exceeded economic growth, resulting in challenges both for lawmakers dealing with a constrained state budget and individuals required to purchase coverage privately. In fiscal year 2012, health care will consume 54% of the state’s budget, up from 49% in fiscal year 2009, with the bulk going toward Mass Health (Medicaid) and individual subsidies for purchasing health insurance. For individuals, monthly premiums for a minimal (“bronze”) plan purchased through the Commonwealth Choice connector (the state insurance exchange) increased from about $175 in 2007 to $275 in 2012 (a 57% increase), despite slowed growth in overall health care spending since the start of the recession in 2008.
In other words: Romneycare is just continuing to gobble up more and more state revenues and is going to be altered soon. It’s a fiscal disaster.
But you won’t hear that anywhere else because all anyone wants to talk about today is Ann Romney.
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