In reality, Patrick's new law will restrict patient access to vital medical treatments and squeeze a hospital system that's already in dire financial straits.
Insurers and large hospitals in Massachusetts will also have to pay $225 million in surcharges over four years, starting in 2013. The measure's backers project savings of $200 billion over 15 years.
Who do those costs get passed on to? Oh yeah, consumers.
Massachusetts State Rep. Steven Levy (R-Marlborough) has noted that the law contains no specifics as to how the savings it mandates will actually come into being. He's also called the gross state product a "random" number with which to straitjacket the healthcare budget.
Healthcare providers that don't hit the government's new annual spending targets will face serious consequences. Two new state agencies - the Health Policy Commission and the Center for Health Information Analysis - have been created to discipline them.
Physicians who fail to reduce costs can be compelled to file "performance improvement plans." These filings are essentially designed to embarrass struggling hospitals. If providers don't adhere to their improvement plans, the agencies can fine them up to $500,000. And there don't appear to be any means for appeal or judicial review of these fines.
There's more. None of it good.
What, if anything, could compel Republicans to support this law? I look forward to any response.