America: are you paying attention?
"This is probably about as close as you can get to universal," said Paul B. Ginsburg, president of the nonpartisan Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington. "It's definitely going to be inspiring to other states about how there was this compromise. They found a way to get to a major expansion of coverage that people could agree on. For a conservative Republican, this is individual responsibility. For a Democrat, this is government helping those that need help."
~ The New York Times
The solution in a nutshell? Make health insurance coverage a legal requirement. Simple. Takes away citizens' incentive to mooch health care at the government's expense. The academic community loves it:
"Massachusetts is the first state in America to reach full adulthood," said Uwe E. Reinhardt, a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University, noting that the new measure is a move toward personal responsibility. "The rest of America is still in adolescence."
~ Washington Post
"Now, wait a second," you might be saying, "isn't the Massachusetts legislature 85% Democrat? So far, this seems like it puts a burden on the poor!" Au contraire, mon frere
! Those living below the federal poverty line will only be responsible for their co-pays. Those in the next economic bracket up (up to 300% of the federal poverty line) get reduced premiums subsidized by the government.
The medical community loves it, the business community loves it, and the religious community loves it... as they ALL had their voices heard during the process of forming this legislation! What's more, the government community loves it as it will only require $175 million of new money over the next three years and then be paid for using existing/continuing federal and state funds!
thank you goes out to all the players that made this plan happen, beginning with Democratic leadership in the legislature, Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi
and Senate President Robert Travaglini
. Also, thank you to Governor Mitt Romney, Senator Ted Kennedy, the ACT! Coalition, and the many medical, business, and religious professionals who provided their input.
Well done, Massachusetts! I'm proud to call you home even though it is snowing today, almost a week into April...