One of the more sadly amusing things about the debate over health care reform in the US right now is that before conservatives were crying in the streets over it being a harbinger of gulags and forced atheism, they were kind of like, for it.
In fact, when GOP presumptive-nominee Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, he basically piloted what conservatives now call “Obamacare” on a state level, and no one was forced to get gay married. At the time, Mittens himself embraced what he deemed a bipartisan effort to cover most of Massachusetts’ residents, commenting:
“There really wasn’t Republican or Democrat in this. People ask me if this is conservative or liberal, and my answer is yes. It’s liberal in the sense that we’re getting our citizens health insurance. It’s conservative in that we’re not getting a government takeover.”
Six years on, the numbers have been crunched surrounding health care reform in Massachusetts, and not only did it not take away our guns- it was actually not a big deal at all, fiscally. The Washington Post covered recent findings from Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, and the report indicates that despite frequent claims to the contrary, health care reform in the state has only accounted for 1.4% of the budget:
“The gains of health reform have been achieved without placing an unexpected or unmanageable burden on the state’s budget… The state’s share of this spending increase is $453 million, or 50 percent of the total. While critics periodically claim that health reform has been a “budget buster,” additional state spending attributable to the health reform law accounted for only 1.4 percent of the Commonwealth’s $32 billion budget in fiscal 2011.”
How the health care reform efforts will play out on a national level is still up in the air- but if Obamacare moves forward, it is likely that much like other first world nations, America won’t crumble under the weight of suddenly allowing the majority of citizens access to health care services.