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Uninsured Massachusetts Consumer Who Cannot Afford Mandatory Purchase of Health Insurance Flies 3,000 Miles to Speak Out; Is Thrown Out Of Capitol By Speaker Nunez
Date:1/16/2008

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, requires that consumers prove they have private health insurance but does not limit what insurers can charge for coverage. The bill is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Health Committee on January 23. Consumer advocates at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) recently wrote to legislators explaining how the costs to consumers under the Nunez/Schwarzenegger proposal. Read the letter at http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/KuehlLetterOpposeABX1_1.pdf

Norton, an adjunct professor of radiology at a Massachusetts community college, who is classified as an "independent contractor," does not have insurance from his state employer. He makes about $40,000 a year, too much to qualify for an exemption from the state's requirement that individuals buy private insurance policies. But he can't afford the high combined premiums and deductibles of the policies that state is calling "affordable." He will discuss the unaffordability of such private insurance, in Massachusetts or under the proposed California health insurance legislation, for middle-class workers.

Statement of Ron Norton:

"I'm Ron Norton, an adjunct professor of radiology and an administrator at a Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Massachusetts. But like 66% of our community college teachers, I'm considered an independent contractor and don't get health insurance.

"After a few years of making about $21,000, I made closer to $40,000 last year because I'm also doing an administrative job. Under the Massachusetts insurance law my family won't get subsidy because even though my wife has health insurance with her employer, her income is counted against my eligibility.

"Her small employer doesn't offer family insurance. I imagine lots of California families are in the same situation.

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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
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