There’s been some jubiliation in Massachusetts with the Commonwealth Fund report that insurance here is no longer the most expensive in the country. My colleague Nancy Turnbull, has a great post in the Commonhealth Blog entitled “Stop Kvelling, We Still Need Aggressive Action To Halt Rising Premiums.” She points out that any jubilation is misplaced – our health care premiums have gone up rapidly – just not as rapidly as a handful of other states. In fact, by many measures our health insurance remains the most expensive in the country – which means the most expensive on the planet.
The problem, of course, is that halting the rise of health care premiums will create hardship in the state’s growth industry – health care. In fact, most of the proposals to lower health care costs make the stakeholders want to plotz!
The commentary is great - and it’s topped off by a prolonged metaphor that left me chuckling. Nancy’s response to a question about why politicians don’t address the impact of rising health care costs on small business:
There's clearly a great fear of "killing the golden goose" of health care in Massachusetts. The problem is that the golden eggs are not distributed fairly although we're all paying for the feed, and the price of over-feeding the goose is a starvation diet for others (including public health). Sort of like the health care equivalent of foie gras.
(Kvell is a great Yiddish word that means something approaching gloating –but it’s virtuous. We kvell when our kids make deans list. Plotz is to be so annoyed that you could faint with anger. When someone threatens to take away what’s mine, I could just plotz.