Freedom Action Now

It’s been tried. It’s failed.

with 2 comments

Most people learn from their mistakes. Democrats are apparently not among them.

Obama would hand us a “single-payer” (i.e., socialist) health plan. We might say, “OK, let’s try it and see how it works”. But a plan costing a few trillion dollars and affecting every one of us is not a “let’s see if it works” option.

It has, in fact, been tried. Great Britain has it. Canada has it. I doesn’t work in either country.

Closer to home, it’s been tried in Maine, in Massachussetts, and Tennesee. Let’s see how well it’s done in those states.


In 2003, Maine instituted a universal-coverage health care plan, under Democratic Governor John Baldacci.

… the state’s taxpayers have spent $154.8 million to keep the program operating, premiums have increased, and the average subsidy cost is $300 per person per month.
. . . .
“Six years ago, Maine instituted Dirigo Health as a government option after advocates made the same promises about what it would do to bring down costs and increase access that the advocates of a nationwide government health plan are making right now in Washington,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.

“Yet six years later, the Dirigo experiment has turned out to be a colossal – and extremely costly – failure.

… it has led to higher taxes on thousands of Maine residents

Costs rose significantly since the program began, according to a report by the Maine Heritage Policy Center.


In 2006, Massachussetts passed its health care reforms under Democratic Governor Mitt Romney.

Health care costs continue to rise much faster than the national average.

New regulations and bureaucracy are limiting consumer choice and adding to health care costs.

A shortage of providers, combined with increased demand, is increasing waiting times to see a physician.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis rightly called American state governments “the laboratories of democracy.” Under our federalist system of government, states are able to experiment with policies on a small scale before these policies are adopted by the whole nation. Of course, not all experiments are successful.

Three years of experience shows that giving the government greater control over our health care system will have grave consequences for taxpayers, providers, and health care consumers. That is the true lesson of the Massachusetts model.


Tennesee was the first entry into the “universal health-care” system. Theirs started in 1994, under Democratic Governor Ned McWherter.

… in a decade, the program went from a budget of $2.5 billion to nearly $8 billion, became mired in litigation, and was forced to make major cuts.
. . .
By 1998, enrollment had grown by 100,000, as employers moved employees into the TennCare system, which cost them less.
. . .
In the summer of 1999, a state audit showed Tennessee was spending $6 million to insure 14,000 dead people, that 16,500 enrollees lived outside the state, and that 20 percent were not eligible to be in the program.

Is there a lesson anywhere in there? Apparently not.


Written by freedomactionnow

August 5, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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2 Responses

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  1. Djou miss Hawaii?


    August 12, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    • I don’t get there much. I’ll check the ususal sources.


      August 14, 2009 at 8:59 am

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