It finally happened. Massachusetts has required everyone to have health insurance or else. Did I mention Sen. Ted Kennedy had a hand in working out the details? The following paragraphs from the article tells it all:
Individuals who can afford private insurance will be penalized on their state income taxes if they do not purchase it. Government subsidies to private insurance plans will allow more of the working poor to buy insurance and will expand the number of children who are eligible for free coverage. Businesses with more than 10 workers that do not provide insurance will be assessed up to $295 per employee per year.
Mr. Romney,( the Republican Governor), pushed the idea of the "individual mandate," requiring people who can afford insurance to buy it. The bill makes it possible for employers to enable many of those people to use pretax dollars, saving them 25 percent or more. Individuals who fail to get health insurance by July 2007 will first lose their personal exemption on their state taxes. In subsequent years, they would have to pay a penalty that could be as high as half of what an affordable health care premium would cost.
The full story is at this url:
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The article provides the sad details.
Horrors! Politics in The Commonwealth of Taxachusetts is just as god-awful (yes, I know, I know, I am an atheist; it's just an expression) as I remembered.
Bipartisanship at work. Not a pretty sight. It's stuff like this that makes me glad I left Mass. (not that politics in The Peoples' Republic of California is any better, more's the pity.)