Via Michael Tanner:
- Slightly less than half of Massachusetts' uninsured population
actually complied with the mandate. True, the number of people without
health insurance was reduced from 13% of the state's population to 7%,
but when the bill was passed, advocates promised that "all Massachusetts citizens will have health insurance." Perhaps it depends on your definition of "all."
- Most of those who are signing up are low-income individuals, whose
coverage is fully or partially subsidized, proving once again that if
you give something away for free people will take it. It certainly
appears that it is the expensive and generous Massachusetts subsidies
(up to 300% of the poverty level), not the unprecedented individual
mandate that is responsible for much of the increased coverage.
- Adverse selection remains a big problem, with the young and healthy
failing to comply with the mandate. The state refused to change its
community rating laws which drive up the cost of insurance for young,
healthy individuals. Not surprisingly, they don't find this a good deal.
- The program is far exceeding its projected costs, with at least a 33% budget overrun in its first year.
- The program has increased demand for health care services without
increasing the supply of providers. As a result, patients are having
trouble finding providers and waiting lists (Canada here we come) are
beginning to develop.