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NEWS: Massachusetts Attempts Universal Health Care

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posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 08:30 PM
The State of Massachusetts hopes to become the first state in the U.S. to provide health care to everyone. The plan, a bipartisan effort, hopes to have 95% of its citizens medically insured. Citizens who can afford it and small companies who do not offer health care will be penalized. This plan will rely on government subsidies. The bill is due to go into effect July 1, 2007.
Massachusetts is poised to become the first state to provide nearly universal health care coverage with a bill passed overwhelmingly by the legislature Tuesday that Gov. Mitt Romney says he will sign.

The bill does what health experts say no other state has been able to do: provide a mechanism for all of its citizens to obtain health insurance. It accomplishes that in a way that experts say combines methods and proposals from across the political spectrum, apportioning the cost among businesses, individuals and the government.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

While it looks good on paper, I have my doubts as to this programs implementation. How will it affect those who already have medical insurance? Will their rates go up? Will it slowly kill private insurance as the behemoth of public health care grows?

I also don't like the feature of individuals being monetarily penalized if they don't sign up for this health care. Perhaps this is the most disturbing facet of the new law.

I applaud this apparent bipartisan effort in Massachusetts, but I am a bit wary of bif governments programs like this.

Related News Links:
www.marketwatch.c om


posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 09:34 PM
I think you misunderstand... the way I interpret it is that if a private citizen can afford private insurance, and instead applies for this public healthcare, they will be penalized. It doesn't look like people will be fined for choosing not to carry any insurance at all.

What I don't like is the small business part. While a cutoff of 10 employees makes it better, that can still seriously hurt a small operation with a small budget, already barely making a profit.

posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 09:45 PM
I just looked elsewhere and it IS true. If you don't have insurence and don't buy it, you get penalized. That is just too bizarre for me. I'm sure there's lots of folks who don't really believe in doctors and such who will not be happy about this encroachment on their privacy.

Those who do not have insurance and refuse to subsribe to health insurance will face mounting tax penalties.

posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 09:46 PM
Nope, the penalties for not purchasing health insurance will be levied automatically, whether you use the system or not.

Individuals who can afford private insurance will be penalized on their state income taxes if they do not purchase it.

I'm all for everyone's access to health care, just not at the cost of one's right to choose.


posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 09:51 PM
Woah my mistake, I missed this part

The bill, the product of months of wrangling between legislators and the governor, requires all Massachusetts residents to obtain health coverage by July 1, 2007.

That IS insane

[edit on 5-4-2006 by apc]

posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 09:54 PM
I just have to think it's going to be a model for the rest of the country and I have thoughts in my mind that the average joe will get socked with taxes somewhere along the line to pay for it. Small businesses will not be able to cover the extra cost and will go under.
It really doesn't say where the money will come from. Medicare and other government monies can't cover all of it.
Just not good, imho.

posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 10:14 PM
This isn't an Ideal plan but it sure is a damn site better than the current HMO fiasco; With it's bloated administrative salaries and stock options and corporate jets. Then canceling your policy after you turn 45 because you are now "high risk" ; 15 years of premiums and never filing a claim,

Something about Health care for profit stinks.

Let the voters of Mass. and the other states decide what is best for themselves. My bet is that Universal health care will be overwhelmingly approved.

The conservative rant of socialized medicine won't fly this time.
Get the feds out of health care; let the states decide.

[edit on 5-4-2006 by whaaa]

[edit on 5-4-2006 by whaaa]

posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 10:47 PM
A number of things here:
First, people can negotiate price with a doctor. You cannot negotiate price with an insurance company. Thus, increases in healthcare costs can climb for no worthy reason(s), and there is no competition.

Second, does the Massachusetts universal healthcare plan cover those people deemed "high risk," having already been denied healthcare coverage(s) because of being found "high risk"?

Third, the market system should be left alone, for the only people who will truly benefit from this plan will be the insurance carriers.

Fourth, if the Mass. healthcare plan is not properly maintained, it will lead to bankruptcy...state bankruptcy. Also, if it does succeed, then there is the serious likelihood that Massachusetts universal healthcare system will become like Canada's (no offence), where everyone has health care coverage but no one really has health care.

Fifth, this goes to show you just how powerful the pharmaceutical and medical insurance industry's really are.

Sixth, the plan is simply a mandatory government dictated socialist-like version of universal/manditory car insurance: simply socialized healthcare.

Seventh, what about those who have personal medical accounts versus having healthcare insurance?

Eighth, lets not forget that this plan comes with scaled back benefits, but comes with federal reimbursements. That means though one does not live in Massachusetts, you and me will be helping to pay for this in the end.


[edit on 5-4-2006 by Seekerof]

posted on Apr, 5 2006 @ 11:18 PM
What a joke.

It's like paying tax while putting money in the pockets of the private companies. This is just as bad as having to pay for car insurance.

Why don't they first establish a State government agency that offers insurance. This way our money is'nt forced into someone else's hands.

I'm sure the poor people are happy, they get free healthcare.

[edit on 5-4-2006 by ImplementOfWar]

posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 12:19 PM
Actually, Implement of War, I have already heard it being compared to mandatory car insurance. And that's probably how it will be run. High premiums for everyone whether you use it or not.

I really have a problem with it being mandatory. Why not set it up like Wayne County, MI, where if you are a small business or individual, you can get into their group plan?

It's a marriage made in heaven for government and lobbyists, make no mistake. The government just wants their piece of the pie. The middle class insured consumer will get stuck with the bill for themselves and others.

Have you EVER heard of the government doing a great and efficient job at ANYTHING!!!!!!
I'm reminded of that old say, "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is."

posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 12:26 PM
Anything "mandatory" smells to me.

Sometimes i scrape to get my meds but i would rather do that, than be ordered to do something.


posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 01:58 PM
This smells to high heaven. I have a real problem with Mandatory anything. It just gets my hackles up in a fine fashion. Someone is getting some sort of payback from the insurance lobby, and HMO's. Follow the money.

posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 02:11 PM

I am skeptical for many of the reasons Seekerof mentions.

In regards to mandatory healthcare if you can afford it. Lable it what you want but the end result of people that can afford insurance but elect not to is higher costs for those of us that do.

Un payed ER visits and the like translate into higher premiums for the rest of us. And as a US taxpayed I do not want a single dollar of my tax money thrown away in Mass. great social experiemnt.

posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 04:44 PM
Well, Fred, it looks like Gov. Romney is ahead of you on this.
If you DON'T have insurance, you must sign a waiver.
This article is from last June so I guess there's been talk of this government-subsidized health car plan for sometime.
Please note, the sentence mentioning Romney running for president on the coattails of this bill.

Massachusetts residents who choose not to obtain health insurance would face tax penalties and even the garnishing of their wages under a proposal Governor Mitt Romney unveiled yesterday.

Romney's plan would require all residents in Massachusetts to have some form of health insurance or agree to pay their medical bills out of their own pockets. No other state has such a requirement, and if Romney manages to make it law, it would be a compelling accomplishment he could point to if he runs for president.


posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 05:26 PM
Ah so they ARE saying people can still carry no insurance and just pay out of pocket if they choose?

Ok then that brings me back to my original less concerned state.

posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 05:29 PM
Yeah, but do you guys have any idea how expensive things can be? What happens when they cannot pay or simply refuse to do so? It sounds all well and good to garnish wages etc. but what if the guy is permantley disable or something?

Your average run of the mill trauma is going to set you back 50K minimum. The LifeFLight alone is 20K

[edit on 4/6/06 by FredT]


posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 05:47 PM
Oh yes I know first hand.
For years I went without insurance and just paid out of pocket. Fortunately all I ever had to take care of was routine stuff. I simply couldn't afford coverage.

I now have catastrophic coverage with a 2.5k deductible, and I picked it up a few months before I was hit hard with last year's flu. I was hospitalized for a few days and the bills racked up to over $10k. Indeed I am thankful for my 2.5k deductible.

The bills can be staggering, yes, but the risk is something many people have no choice but to take. Insurance is expensive. Even my high deductible coverage is close to $400 a quarter. And Im a healthy 23 year old nonsmoker. Some people who dont qualify for Medicare really cannot afford coverage for themselves, and have no choice but to go without.

> Unfortunately this new Mass. system will probably be worse than Medicare. Medicare is, basically, horrible. Terrible doctors. Terrible references. Bottom feeders mostly. Whoever has the lowest bid. If I were in a position where I had the choice between paying out of pocket in case something came up, or a plan where they might send me to some doctor who will cut off the wrong leg, or mistake my tumor for a case of chicken pox... I'll opt to take care of myself.

[edit on 6-4-2006 by apc]

posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 06:07 PM
Fred, that brings up an interesting concept.
Who's gonna pay? If they are relying on federal handouts.....

I just don't see the numbers adding up. They're not calling it insurance, or are they? I am very concerned that those who already have health insurance will be forced into even higher premiums to offset the lack of money coming in to pay for 95% of the state's participation.

I have good insurance, for now anyway. And it ain't free. I can't afford to pay more so others can have insurance.
So, who's gonna make up the difference?

posted on Apr, 6 2006 @ 11:20 PM
I am twenty years old and I have never had health insurance in my life. I do however understand the risk this world poses to my health, and the fact that any day some freak accident could just hurt me so bad it would cost thousands which I would not be able to afford, were I not prepared.

That is why me and my fiance have created an investment portfolio specifically for health and auto emergencies. It is small now with only about 1500$, but we have only been investing in it for less than a year. Those high premiums which I will never see returned to me instead go to an account which I will always have access to and is always my money.

The best insurance is to live a healthy life with good eating and regular fitness practice. Of course it also helps to bild your own accoutn like we are doing. We do not smoke, drink alcohol, caffeine, eat fried foods or foods that are mostly sugary or fatty. And number one, we stay away from any pharmaceutical drugs for any of our ailments. We make sure to grow plants which we can cook or eat to heklp treat ourselves.

All I am saying is, you can have affordable health insurance without even involving a third party. It all starts with the individual. I can say for a fact that we will have over $10,000 invested in this within the next 5-7 years. on top of a decent car, and a decent home. And that is with both of us working at Wal-Mart
, who we choose not to even have health insurance with. Proper financial education, discipline, and healthy habits will ensure a wonderful lifestyle regardless of where you work.

I will be staying away from Massachussettes.

posted on Apr, 7 2006 @ 05:40 AM
this is a good plan and it will come under fire by companies and those who love private health care profits.universal health care will change the way you live in the u.s.yes it does cost money but more people will have access to it.i see a wave of change and its blowing in from the great state of mass........

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