The Failure of RomneyCare

Via Jennifer Rubin, I see this excellent WSJ editorial exposing what a catastrophe Romney’s universal health care reform has been for Massachusetts, which should be another lesson to all conservatives that supporting statist public policy initiatives and calling them “free market” does not change economic reality.

But I’ll give Romney credit on one thing. He showed us what happens when government shifts citizens onto heavily subsidized public plans:

One lesson here is that while pledging “universal” coverage is easy, the harder problem is paying for it. This year’s appropriation for Commonwealth Care was $472 million, but officials have asked for an add-on that will bring it to $625 million. For 2009, Governor Deval Patrick requested $869 million but has already conceded that even that huge figure is too low. Over the coming decade, the expected overruns float in as much as $4 billion over budget. It’s too early to tell how much is new coverage or if state programs are displacing private insurance.

Staggering, but totally unsurprising.

And people wonder why I’ve been so bearish on Romney as the leader of the conservative future, and why I think it would be a disaster for McCain to pick him as VP.