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Massachusetts Not as Blue as It Seems

Romney wins one with health insurance plan

While it is usually not prudent to use Massachusetts as an example for the nation, one must give them credit for electing a GOP governor for the past 20 years. The Tax State still has yet to get rid of Uncle Ted, but that’s hard to do when Whitey Bolger’s victims are voting for Uncle Ted posthumously from the bottom of Back Bay. Most political candidates don’t know that many dead people.

But perhaps the best-kept secret in my native state is that it is not as blue as presidential election maps paint it. The people living in the communities west of Rte. 128, on the North Shore, and down the Cape, where one is hard-pressed to find a home for less than $500,000, are probably not voting for every Democrat that runs.

The most recent advancement in Massachusetts politics is Gov. Mitt Romney’s recent bipartisan healthcare reform bill. This bill is revolutionary in that it uses the free market to universalize health insurance. The law was heralded by both Republicans and Democrats in Massachusetts, although the frightening thing is that Sen. Hillary Clinton has actually endorsed free-market healthcare legislation. Conservative Republicans called the legislation about personal responsibility; for Democrats, the bill was the embodiment of social justice.

Of course, the critical question is whether Romney plans to use his Massachusetts victory in healthcare reform law as a platform for a 2008 presidential campaign. It is hard to see why he wouldn’t. The law requires all citizens to have health insurance. Those who can afford it are required to purchase private health insurance to avoid paying a penalty on their state taxes. For those who cannot afford it, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts picks up the slack. Additionally, the bill would penalize businesses who do not provide full-time employees with health insurance, the proceeds from which will be used to extend coverage to the poor.

While the Massachusetts model is far from perfect, it is a giant step in the right direction. Even the New York Times, which makes no attempt to hide their passion for socialism, praised Massachusetts and Romney for their progress. The last time the Times praised a Republican policy, Lincoln was probably in the White House. Times subscribers, however, were not amused by the paper’s praise.

Countless letters to the editor chastised the Times for their deviation from the socialist cause. One Brooklyn man went so far as to say most Americans yearn for Hillary-care, and cited the Massachusetts law as a giveaway to insurance companies. It has never been a secret that liberals want to destroy the insurance industry so every American is uninsured, leaving them to institute socialized medicine unhampered. Moreover, to require people to have insurance is just crazy talk! For liberals, the purpose of government is to play the role of the parent, the provider, the end all be all. It wouldn’t surprise me if America’s diehard socialists had been breastfed until they were 30. This would explain their indignation at having to provide for themselves. The slogan for socialism should be, "Where’s My Tit?" Hint: It went away when you graduated high school. It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world, isn’t it?

The Massachusetts healthcare initiative reflects the same notion as requiring motorists to have automobile insurance. You could hardly describe an automobile law requiring collision insurance as a giveaway to Nationwide. Under the logic of socialist liberals, who have unfortunately (or fortunately) hijacked the Democratic Party, the state should pay for damage done on your part to someone else’s vehicle. This is simply a reflection of the entitlement mindset held by some Americans.

As Romney told Fox News, it is unacceptable to walk into a clinic, receive routine care, and then pull the "I have no money or insurance" game. In a world of Medicare, Medicaid, and cheap insurance plans such as Blue Advantage for those who buy their own health insurance, there is no excuse to be uninsured. Unless, of course, your healthcare premiums are taxed, as is current law if one buys his own health insurance. Sound ridiculous? Call the Democratic Party. We can’t afford more tax benefits, they say. I guess healthcare really is a luxury good, much like a yacht.

Massachusetts has made great strides in the area of health coverage parity. They have finally had the courage to utilize the free-market as a basis for healthcare policy. Of course, socialist liberals were always going to decry the law as a deterioration of the welfare state. America’s deficiency as a welfare state, liberals say, stems from the nation’s high rate of immigration, legal and illegal. What they fail to grasp is that no one immigrates to Europe because Europe can’t even afford their own citizens.

Capitalism is the only system which provides the most opportunity for mobility and freedom; immigrants are not ignorant of this fact. If immigrants are the cause of "barbaric" reform like that in Massachusetts, and contribute to the decline of the welfare state, then America should welcome, with open arms, all the blessed immigrants that want to come to America.

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Mr. Lewis is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

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