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2012 Election

PerryCare vs. RomneyCare

Texas leads the nation in the number of medically uninsured citizens[1]. No surprise there. Governor Perry is quite proud of the fact, as well: this is “lean government”, which in Republican terms translates as cutting even basic services for the poor. The Texas economy is growing fast and adding jobs, which can also be said of Saudi Arabia – funny how that happens when you can pump oil and gas out of the ground[2].

 

The state with the least percentage of uninsured is Massachusetts, home of RomneyCare which is the father of ObamaCare. This is precisely why Mr. Romney won’t talk about and wishes to forget his greatest achievement as a public servant: bringing affordable healthcare to the vast majority of the Bay State’s citizens. Why? Because it was done through a truly bipartisan effort with the state’s overwhelmingly Democratic legislature; this is not something that plays well in GOPland. RomneyCare paved the way for most of the features of ObamaCare: exchanges, eliminations of exemptions for pre-existing conditions and an individual mandate.

Oops.

PerryCare advocates would argue that of course Taxachusetts would have a higher percentage of insured residents, because it is an example of Democratic big government largesse and costs the taxpayer far more than in Texas. In fact, Massachusetts spends almost twice as much per resident in healthcare than Texas does ($9,278 vs. $5,924) [3].

 

But the difference is much smaller if you look at how much each state is paying per insured resident, a much more accurate measure. In that case, Massachusetts spends a little bit more ($9,674 per insured resident — almost everyone) while Texas spending increases to just under $8,000 per insured resident. Not that much of a difference – except that the extra amount spend in Massachusetts allows almost universal coverage, instead of the banana republic conditions in the Lone Star State.

Not only does PerryCare provide for far fewer Texans, it also delivers worse results on almost any metric you care to measure[4].

 

So Americans in Massachusetts pay 20% more than Americans in Texas for healthcare, but they live two years longer, have 40% fewer infant deaths, more immunized kids and better teeth in the bargain. Not to mention that they all benefit from it, not just 75% of them.

Mitt Romney has renounced RomneyCare and all the good it has done, just so he could denounce ObamaCare. Americans need to send him a clear message in November that we don’t want to go back to the GOP-favored PerryCare, synonymous with “Poor people: be considerate and die quickly.”[5]



Sources and Notes

[1] Mendes, Elisabeth, “In US, Uninsured Rates Stable Across States So Far In 2012,”Gallup Wellbeing, 24 August 2012
[2] Just to be clear, I’m all in favor of pumping oil and gas out of the ground and emphatically so if it replaces imports of foreign energy sources. I applaud the good work being done in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and other regions to develop natural gas resources and hope that we will soon be a net exporter of gas to Asia and Europe. As long as we make sure that the tap water doesn’t catch fire or corrode steel in these areas, I’m a big supporter.
[3] “Healthcare Expenditures per Capita by State of Residence, 2009”, State Health Facts, Kaiser Family Foundation
[4] Facts-At-A-Glance, State Health Facts, Kaiser Family Foundation
[5] Paraphrased from former Representative Alan Grayson’s (D-FL) speech during the floor debate on the Affordable Care Act, 29 September 2009

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