You may not live for free in Massachusetts

That's right. If you breathe, you are required by law to have health insurance that meets very high level requirements set by the government. If you can not afford health insurance (according to the government) then you will be helped to buy it. If you do not buy it, you will be fined by the government. It doesn't matter how much you earn, the fine will be a flat rate!

So if you're a healthy young adult and need to prioritize your resources, and not see a doctor for a year or two while you are say, paying off your college loans... sorry. Not in Massachusetts. Instead of saying, "OK, you didn't buy the health insurance, and therefore we will not take care of you for free" we say "You must buy what we tell you to buy, to subsidize the big fat meat eating, cigarette smoking motorcycle riders, or we will take your money."

What happens if I do not meet the mandate [to have health insurance]?
If you don’t have health insurance by Dec. 31, 2007, you will lose your personal income tax exemption for 2007. That exemption gives you a Massachusetts tax savings of approximately $219.

In 2008, the cost of the penalty goes up. The fine will equal half of the cost of the lowest-priced Health Connector-certified plan for each month that you don’t have coverage
Source: The Massachusetts Health Connector

Still we have an interesting approach to "Universal Healthcare". Let's see if hospitals start making money and stop needing cash from the government. Let's see if premiums go down. Let's see.

If it works, you can elect Mitt Romney as President, as he was the governor here as this law was written and signed into law. I bet he's counting on your vote. (Prediction: He won't mention this law until after the Republican primaries (unless he's desperate), and if he's victorious as the Republican nominee, you won't be able to shut him up about it.)

Stay tuned!
Respond to this topic here on  
Would you happen to know (estimated) how many people
are currently without the approved level of HI coverage?
How in the world can this stand? There have to be many
many people - do they not know this is happening? I didn't
know a thing about it, but then I am not a resident.

How can this be? :twisted: I am just dumbfounded.

Most of the lowest income folks already have a form of healthcare called MassHealth for nearly free drug copays of $1 and $3 (They SCREAMED when that was raised from 50 cents to a buck....)

This is aimed at getting money from the 20 somethings who are uninsured but can "afford it", AND to allow people who are uninsured to buy in at group rates, and to ensure portability, and things like that.

I'm not sure I hate the concept, but it's pretty shocking to think that you can't breathe for free anymore, that this is government making the most basic life decisions for the people. First mandatory helmets for motorcyclists, then mandatory seatbelts for 12 and under, then for everyone, then mandatory helmets for bicycle riders under 12, then everyone, then mandatory helmets and wrist guards for skateboarders and rollerbladers, then mandatory health insurance.. towns banning certain foods from their restaurants... where does this taking of our liberties by inches stop?
You can still ride a motorcycle without a helmet here in AZ. But we recently passed a statewide smoking ban. I'm with you Ron - I think less legislation is better.
I'm not sure I would be opposed to mandatory health care purchasing, but I would think there are better ways to circumvent the high costs associated with the high price for meds, ridiculously high paid health insurance executives, sue-happy population that has driven malpractice insurance way up, etc.. If they started working from the inside out, then maybe the insurance premium in general wouldn't be so expensive for the mandatory paying folks.

I'm sure you know that the current health care premium pricing is based on averages. So if a company has mostly young twenty-somethings working in their office, then the premium would be lower than an office full of middle-aged folks which is kind of scary in its own right.

On a side note, I cannot wait for the Michael Moore movie, "Sicko" to come out in a couple of weeks. Supposedly his best movie ever, and not too partisan. If anybody can uncover some dirt about the industry, he sure can.
Ron wrote:
... where does this taking of our liberties by inches stop?

When people say, "I'm mad as hell, and I ain't gonna take it NO MORE," or when the National Rifle Association looses their battle for our rights to own and carry weapons.

People are too lazy, too busy or are just unwilling to get involved.

But, what I don't understand is how millions of illegal immigrants can gather on our streets and protest "their" rights, and look at how fast the government reacted to PLEASE THEM!!! But, here we sit, can't ride bikes, smoke, drive and all the other crap without regulations!

When this great country falls, it will be on OUR watch. We've much to be ashamed of. Many people laid down their lives for our freedoms, yet we can't even take time to rally on the street corner and protest these things.

When our children and grandchildren have no rights at all, it will be us they hold accountable. Are their rights not worth saving? SPEAK UP! ACT!

They can't TAKE anything, we GIVE it up! jmop :x

So...what does illegal immigration have to do with this?
barney1 wrote:
So...what does illegal immigration have to do with this?

Nothing. It was just an example to show the difference between two groups of people.

The illegal immigrants, joining together, demanding rights they're not entitled to.

The citizen, that just sits back and complains about the rights they lost, rather than "joining together" and demanding their rights be protected.

Which group draws the most attention from the government, the one making demands or the one that sits in silence.
JMO, but...
I don't disagree with the concept of healthcare coverage
for everyone. What really bothers me is that someone
decided for us that we need it, AND that we are
going to be required to pay for it, something fitting their
standards. Now don't misunderstand,
it isn't that I feel we shouldn't have to pay for something
of our own, it's that someone else is deciding - determining
the requirements. Does that make any sense?

Makes perfect sense to me.

The problem is when someone gets sick, they expect to be taken care of regardless of their ability to pay, or their decision not to buy insurance. Society won't allow someone to die (or to be ill, nowadays) who can be helped, so society pays to have them healed.

Now society (the people who are paying for this) doesn't want to pay for their own largess anymore. Instead of demanding that sick people without insurance, but who could afford to buy insurance not be treated for free, they demand that everyone buy insurance.

That's the reality.

So while in my ideal world I'd be able to drop my insurance and risk it, when I got sick or injured... I would probably be someone looking to receive treatment too.... it's human nature.

So everyone needs insurance, but how to provide it is the question. We'll see if this approach works. IMHO it is not the way to go, I think we need a national sales tax to pay for health insurance to be globally competitive, but the details on my thinking about how to implement that program are very complex, and are not suited for this thread.
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