Romney’s federal health care funding

October 3, 2012

Romney said he did not raise taxes to pay for the health care law that he implemented while serving as governor of Massachusetts. This claim deserves some context, because the federal government has provided substantial help in paying for the program.

A June 2011 Boston Globe article said this about the cost of Romney's health care plan and how the state has paid for it:

Over the five-year life of the new law, total cost has been $9 billion, with the federal government picking up nearly 64 percent of the cost, the state’s share is more than 18 percent, and the remaining 18 percent split by hospitals and insurers, who pass it along to their customers, to pay into the Health Safety Net fund, which reimburses providers for treating the uninsured. The federal share consists of the usual 50 percent reimbursement for Medicaid, supplemented by stimulus money and additional funds awarded the state for its innovative program to subsidize insurance of the working poor.

So the federal government pays more for the Bay State's health care program than the state itself does.

The Globe piece also noted that "there is no certainty the state can afford the program’s cost indefinitely if the underlying costs of health care continue to soar."

The state has increased taxes to pay for its health care plan since Romney left office. For instance, it raised taxes on cigarettes and implemented a one-time assessment totalling $50 million on hospitals and insurers.

Wonkblog has also written about the federal government's hand in helping pay for the Massachusetts' health care law.

Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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