Boston, Massachusetts — Governor Mitt Romney killed a part of a new Massachusetts law requiring everyone to buy health insurance which will likely mean that many workers with good health insurance through their employers will be forced into inadequate “bare bones” policies.
Governor Mitt Romney used a line-item veto to remove the part of the law that would have required employers to pay a $295 per year per employee fine if they refused to provide coverage or dropped existing policies. Under the law, comprehensive policies offered by employers can be replaced by high deductible plans that require patients to pay more for fewer services. The lack of any employer charge when they drop comprehensive coverage makes this outcome even more likely.
“With individuals bearing the full cost of health care, government will have to regulate health insurance affordability like we used to regulate the electric utilities. When the government requires people to buy health insurance, the government has the responsibility to make sure it is affordable,” said Jerry Flanagan of the nonpartisan consumer advocacy group the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. “Now that the law lets employers off the hook for their share of health care costs working families will pay more for less coverage.”
FTCR voiced concern about affordability under the law, which requires families of three who make more than $49,800 per year to buy health insurance without any limits on what insurers can charge. A true universal coverage model would use the bulk purchasing power of a public health program like Medicare that pays doctors and hospitals directly at the most efficient price with the lowest overhead and fewest middlemen.
– 30 –
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization. For more information, visit us on the web at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org