Today the Boston Globe praises the Massachusetts health care reform, aka Romneycare. They’re taking their lead from a paper (pdf) published by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a left-wing think tank, and announce that the reform is “only” costing Massachusetts taxpayers $88 million per year. In return, 400,000-plus more residents have taken up health care insurance.
As Arnold Kling notes, the $88 million is only the added cost to the state taxpayers. The feds are also picking up an equivalent amount.
So in other words, the Globe and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation are proclaiming the program a success on the basis of only one half of the explicit costs to the state. They don’t include the other half of the explicit costs, not to mention the implicit costs to all of the people who would rather have the take-home pay but are now forced to purchase health insurance. They also don’t include the costs of longer waiting times or higher premiums.