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Consumer Watchdog Comments on Health Insurer's Self-Serving Support of 'Individual Mandate'
Date:11/19/2008

achusetts individual mandate law is not a national model for universal health care, not only due to the serious flaws in the approach, but also because Massachusetts has relatively few uninsured to begin with, and most insurers in the state are nonprofits:

  • Massachusetts' policymakers failed to regulate insurance premiums. Despite the state's stronger patient protections and lower percentage of uninsured, premium costs under the individual mandate continue to escalate. As a result, the board implementing the new law was forced to cut back on coverage benefits and shift toward high-deductible plans that reduced access to care.
  • Despite dramatic reductions in coverage, premiums continue to increase and fewer Massachusetts resident can afford health coverage. New enrollment numbers for the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care health plans show that the number of people newly enrolled fell from July to September.

The inevitable outcome of Massachusetts' push for coverage expansions while refusing to regulate health insurance overhead and profit, provide an alternative to the private market, or guarantee minimum benefits is a proliferation of bare bones, junk insurance. Under such an approach, a patient might be technically "insured" but will not receive the coverage they need when they get sick.

Consumer Watchdog is a nationally recognized non-partisan consumer advocacy organization. For more information, visit: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org


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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
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