Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Will the last person to leave Massachusetts please turn out the lights

The Massachusetts legislature has passed a bill requiring all citizens to have health insurance. Yes, you are reading that correctly.

The bill, approved by the heavily Democratic Massachusetts legislature on Apr. 4, marries conservative and liberal ideas. For the first time ever in the U.S., all state residents would be required to have health insurance -- dubbed an individual mandate. Gov. Mitt Romney, a moderate Republican expected to run for the White House in 2008, champions this as a conservative victory that leads residents to take responsibility for their own health insurance. He says he plans to sign the bill soon, although he may first try to change some smaller provisions.

I'm not sure what kind of Kool-Aid the Massachusetts politicians are drinking, but it must be some good stuff.

Some highlights:

  • Huge government subsidies to help income individuals buy insurance (There goes your taxes)
  • All companies with 11 or more workers required to pay for health insurance (There goes prices or the small companies out of state or both)
  • Beginning in 2008, individuals without health insurance will be subject to penalties

  • I suspect there will be some interesting court challenges coming soon.

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