Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Insuring Massachusetts

It looks like Massachusetts has found a way to achieve near universal coverage. A pattern for the nation? The Democrats' plan for 2008? Mitt Romney (Republican governor and presidential wannabe) has yet to sign the bill, but it passed almost unanimously.

The bill requires all Massachusetts residents to obtain health coverage by July 1, 2007. Those who can afford insurance will be penalized on state income taxes if they do not purchase it, but all insurance plans will be fully tax deductible for individuals and small businesses (50 employees or less). Businesses with more than 10 employees will be assessed tax fines of up to $295 per employee per year. Reports on the bill suggest that 95% of uninsured, 99% of all, will be insured within three years. The state will also subsidize plans for those under 26 and those making 300% of the poverty line or less. Interesting idea.

It seems to spread the cost of the uninsured to both government and businessesm, but is an "individual mandate." I have not seen cost estimates, but the NYTimes reports that it is expected to cost only $1.2 billion more in total, almost all of it federal money for some reason, and is not expected to cost any more money after three years. Presumably the cost of not having to pay for uninsured is being used to, well, pay for insurance.


Anonymous said...

Sounds great! MA isn't the only state with such a comprehensive plan. Don't Oregon and Hiwaii have comprehensive health care too?  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Hawaii requires all businesses with 20+ employees to provide insurance. Apparently they have about a 10% uninsured rate. Oregon's program has run into legal snags. 

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

The MA plan has to scare Republicans to death! It is proof that it is possible to do it!

Let's hope it doesn't turn into a boom for big insurance companies.


// posted by UNWest