Critics off base

To the editor:

Dr. Bud Gollier wrote on Aug. 17 to raise skepticism about Obamacare, relying on an Aug. 6 Wall Street Journal piece criticizing Massachusetts’s RomneyCare. But the Wall Street Journal article is factually misleading and illogical.

The WSJ fails to even mention the purpose of Romneycare – to increase the number of people with health insurance. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 16 percent of the U.S. population is uninsured compared to only 5 percent in Massachusetts. Under Romneycare, 3 percent of children are uninsured compared to 10 percent nationally. So Romneycare worked.

The WSJ article insinuates that Romneycare is to blame for Massachusetts’ growing health care costs for Medicaid, etc., by comparing state expenditures from 2001 to 2012. But Romneycare did not become law until June 2006. And the WSJ article offered nothing to show that these rising costs were in any way related to Romneycare. Clear thinking leads to the opposite conclusion: The more people with health insurance, the less a state will pay in Medicaid and similar programs.

Dr. Gollier’s letter also echoes WSJ’s smug claim that, “Sure enough, 79 percent of the newly insured are on public programs.” Does the WSJ think the pre-Romneycare uninsured were among the better off classes?

Enough about the WSJ’s anti-Obamacare propaganda. What about Kansas? Thirteen percent of us have no health insurance, with 8 percent of our children uninsured. We would be fortunate indeed if Obamacare does for Kansas what Romneycare did for Massachusetts.