Big news in Massachusetts regarding health care. A bill legally requiring citizens to opt in to health insurance, or get a penalty, has been signed. This is the first bill of its kind, differing from what other states have tried and what the federal government has:
Gov. Mitt Romney (R) supports the proposal, which would require all uninsured adults in the state to purchase some kind of insurance policy by July 1, 2007, or face a fine. Their choices would be expanded to include a range of new and inexpensive policies — ranging from about $250 per month to nearly free — from private insurers subsidized by the state.(Washingtonpost.com)
Is this bringing the American model closer to the Canadian one, without the huge tax burden that we have to support it?
If all goes as planned, poor people will be offered free or heavily subsidized coverage; those who can afford insurance but refuse to get it will face increasing tax penalties until they obtain coverage; and those already insured will see a modest drop in their premiums.
The measure does not call for new taxes but would require businesses that do not offer insurance to pay a $295 annual fee per employee.(Foxnews.com)
Is this a good thing for the citizens of Mass? Does this mean that its the first ‘grown up’ state? What does this mean for the federal Part D medicare?