Keller @ Large: How Has Life Been Under Health Care Law In Massachusetts?

BOSTON (CBS) – The Supreme Court could strike down a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care reform law sometime soon. What would that mean for the law in Massachusetts?

Supreme Court watchers who observed Tuesday’s hearings believe the court will throw out the requirement that every American buy health insurance.

Opponents of the law have painted a dark picture of what would happen to people who don’t comply with the law.

Massachusetts residents, meanwhile, have been required to buy insurance for years, and it remains a work in progress. State officials haven’t figured out how to control spiraling costs, for example, and that’s a big problem.

But, critics of the federal law who envision a heartless bureaucracy using the mandate to club taxpayers into submission aren’t going to find much proof of their nightmare here in Massachusetts.

It was smiles all around six years ago when then-Governor Mitt Romney signed our health reform law. Since then, while tens of thousands of scofflaws have paid more than $70 million in penalties, the state’s top health care administrator says they’re a drop in the bucket.

“Over 98% of our population has coverage and very few people are contesting the legitimacy of the individual mandate in Massachusetts,” said Glen Shor, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector Authority.

“We want to see people get insured. We don’t want to penalize them,” Shor continued. “If people make a good case that their penalty should be reduced or eliminated, their penalty will be reduced or eliminated.”

One recent study found the mandate hasn’t made us all much healthier, with only 1.4 percent transitioning to “very good” or “excellent” health under the reform.

“There are a lot of things that need to happen to elevate the health of our population, but insurance coverage is essential,” said Shor.

The Supreme Court is deciding a complex constitutional question about the extent of the federal government’s authority in part because the drafters of our constitution feared the consequences of unrestrained federal power.

So far in Massachusetts at the local level, though, fears of uncontrolled, abusive state power have gone unrealized.

More from Jon Keller
  • Joe Ryan

    The provision has added several pages to the tax return. There are a number of exemptions including for religious and income. Your tax return will not be accepted without the forms and the penalty is about 50% the cost of a health insurance premium. What happens to people who don’t pay their taxes?
    This is the biggest attack on working people since unemployment insurance
    began getting taxed. Call it what you want, Romneycare or Obamacare, it’s an assault on freedom. You should have the right to bypass “Big Insurance” and pay the vendors directly without the threat of prison.

    • Kvtsal

      Joe please explain how the average person can afford to pay for anything other than routine care. After that I’m paying which is the biggest attack on me as a working person. My plan covers my husband and me. I do not want a bunch of people who randomly decide not to have health care piggybacking on it.

    • Sarah Forbes

      Joe – when the “vendor” charges you hundreds of thousands of dollars for your cancer treatment or your traumatic brain injury, I believe you will have a change of heart.

      Please read my comment below. I’ve had a front row seat at three of the slow ways to die and it isn’t pretty OR inexpensive.

  • Kvtsal

    The supreme court will vote for politocal reasons. IMHO when Adams said the justices were appointed for life unless they misbehaved he had this court in mind.

    If a person doesn’t have health insurance I pay for him to be treated. It costs more because a person without health insurance puts medical care off until things are worse and it costs more. To anyone who says he doesn’t want to have to have insurance I will say that I do not want him on my insurance plan which is where he will be without insurance.

    • The Owl

      Either you do not know or do not care that the Supreme Court will decide this issue based on law.

      There are two competing legal issues: Ability of a legislature to regulate interstate commerce, and the enumerated powers clause that grants states all powers not explicitly granted to Congress by the Constitution.

      This court case uses the heath care bill as the vehicle to define or redefine this conflict.

      If the enumerated powers clause and the 10th Amendment have any meaning, they state that there are limits to what Congress may do.

      I share the view of universal health coverage, and Medicare is a constitutionally acceptable example of how it can be implemented.

      I find it strange that the liberal wastes so much of his time nibbling around the edges in unconstitutional ways and getting hammered with each bite.

      I am beginning to sense that the liberal is more interested in accumulating power than he is is in solving problems or participating in a society where laws, not ideologies govern.

      • tsal-kv

        Owl the sitting supreme court is the most conservative in history. I am aware of the legal issues and I fully believe if there is any issue that leans right it will be the one given greatest weight. You only have to look as far as the precedent which was based on lies that the court used to decide a corporation is a person – a decision not based on law. I have no faith in this court and firmly believe it is – as I said – exactly what Adams did not intend.

        However, all that being said and as I said below – I am hoping that if the current plan is overturned we can grasp the opportunity to move forward and institute a single payer type plan. To me it is the solution……… I’ve said on these blogs before.

      • The Owl

        Tsal, you miss the really key point of the debate.

        What line of constraint exists if the enumerated powers clause and the Tenth Amendment to any action that Congress might take.

        You see to favor rampant democracy…which leads, as has been shown by the French Revolution, to a tyranny that is as horrible as can be imagined.

      • Tsal-kv

        The debate my friend is how has life been under our health care plan. One that mirrors Obamas. The difference of course being that ours was put into law by a republican. Has it changed. Many more have access to insurance they could not have afforded previously. Is it the answer. I don’t think so but it is better than what we had. Now if the conservatives you seem to admire would actually start working for the country and not their own agenda perhaps we could actually have a healthcare reform plan drawn up,that works. Sadly since our politicians are in bed with the health insurance companies I have littl hope that will happen. In the meantime if it gets more covered and gets rid of things like pre-existing conditions and caps then that’s what we have. It’s not much but it’s better than what we had IMHO. So the answer is how is life – better but with a very long way to go

      • The Owl

        I do not see, tsal, where the U.S. Constitution has been repealed.

        Seeing as though the Democratic Congress and the President took the easy road out of the debate and passed a unconstitutional law, I cannot see were there is an excuse.

        Oh, and BTW, Justice Breyer owns a whole bunch of stock in companies that will benefit highly from this abomination of a healthcare law.

      • Tsal-kv

        Owl. What debate. Republicans never came to the table. Did you note I said politicians were in bed and never specified a party. Unlike you I don’t believe the problems all lay on one side. Nice discussion but I’m off to another topic. I like the lottery one infinitely better at this time of night.

    • Willow

      Exactly!!!! Enough already!! My husband and I already pay outrageous premiums with a $4000 deductible tacked on. At our age, we see the doctor for more then routine procedures. Not only do we pay our premium, but out of pocket each time we see the doctor or need bloodwork, etc. I don’t want to pay for someone else to get better care then we can afford.

  • BostonIrish

    Isn’t it obvious? The employers don’t want to give you sensible healthcare unless you pay more to get it. They also want you to pay a larger copay. They want dental to be optional because, in their argument, maybe you don’t always need the dentist, and it’s a cost you don’t need to incur.

    The federal government doesn’t want to keep giving you social security benefits when they can pass it all onto taxpayers to pay for everyone. The service providers for everything from hospitals to private doctors don’t want to be on the medicade plan because the federal government dictates how much they can charge.

    No one is on the taxpayers’ side but the taxpayers. Everyone employed by financial institutes or meical providers are reaping huge profits. Pick your poison. We’re not keeping our money any way you slice it.

    • Kvtsal

      Guess its not obvious to me. Employers foot a good portion of the cost in most cases so don’t want high premiums. Other than the big few, financial institutions r up against the wall with Dodd frank reg costs and are either merging or being aquired at an alarming rate. Doctors are atthe bottom of the food chain when it soles to receiving a share of insurance co payouts. Many are going bsnkrupt Dental group plans cost next to nothing. The insurance companies are the ones dictating the higher copayment. They think they are fooling members by not raising premiums but rising copay. Other than that and the promise of our first and second born insurance companies are our friends.

    • Kvtsal

      Oh and many private drs are lobbying for a single payer plan. An idea I support

  • Sarah Forbes

    In 1983, my 26 year-old brother was working a marginal job which did not include health insurance and he could not afford to pay for insurance himself. My father was 73, my mother was 66: both were retired.

    My brother was in a very bad car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent the next 25 YEARS in a chronic care hospital until his death in April 2008. Because he did not have insurance, his care was paid for by the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I thank you.

    If you believe that the individual mandate is unconstitutional what solution would you suggest for my brother’s treatment? Should I have beat the rest of his head in with a baseball bat so he wouldn’t be such a drain on society?

    If you feel somehow cheated that Billy got “free” care on your dime, what would you suggest? Should my elderly parents – members of the “Greatest Generation” and a South Pacific PT Boat veteran – be forced to sell their home and possessions to pay for an accident?

    We will save my father’s death from lung cancer because of his work as an electrician, especially his naval service which required prolonged exposure to asbestos – and my mother’s lingering decline from dementia for another day.

    Unfortunately, I believe many people who have strong convictions about the “unconstitutionality” of the Affordable Care Act and the health insurance mandate, have not had experience with chronic care, life-threatening injuries, or long-term illness.

    I hope you NEVER have these experiences. I also hope you will exercise your imaginations. Imagine yourself in these circumstances and then decide whether health care reform is important and whether you believe EVERY person is entitled – by virtue of their humanity alone – to affordable and quality health care.

    • tsal-kv

      Sarah I am so sorry for your losses and thank you for sharing your stories. The person I spoke of in my response to Joe was my brother. Anything can strike at any age. Like you, I have other stories but will focus on my dad who lived with dementia until he was 93. His savings were well gone and he was on MassHealth and as was the case with your brother, the citizens of MA helped pay for his care and I am also grateful.

      I do not understand why anyone objects to the law that Americans must have health care insurance. I have no problem helping others who have no choice but I have a serious problem helping those who can contribute all or at least some to their healthcare. I also have a serious problem with the term “pre-existing condition” and with placing a limit on the amount healthcare can cover. I’d love to hear any legitimate reasons why eliminating both of those was not the right thing to do.

      The majority of Americans are realizing that the boogeymen placed in the closet by the right in an attempt to discredit the new health care laws do not exist. Those of us in Massachusetts – as this topic states – should know since we have an identical plan and have yet to face all of the dire consequences predicted.

      • tsal-kv

        response – my dad didn’t choose not to have healthcare Did you read that he was 93 – he had medicare/medicaid. I assume you have never been there and hope you never will be. The care it takes for dementia is something very few if any families can afford – especially when the loved one lives quite a long time. My dad didn’t RANDOMLY choose not to have health care – the health care he had didn’t begin to cover his expenses – and he also had private supplementary insurance. Because his care exhausted every cent he had saved by working two jobs his entire life, following the rules, having health insurance, MassHealth was necessary. He still understood some things when it did become necessary. Ask me how a man who worked his entire life and took pride in being self-sufficient felt about having to accept MassHealth. It took away a good deal of the dignity he had left. Nice what we do to our seniors isn’t it?

        In case you are unfamiliar with the MassHealth plan, they took all but $60/month of his SS which by then was all he had remaining except his house which they took once he died WE covered his clothes and any other expenses necessary. Are you aware that a huge number of elderly in nursing homes are on MassHealth for the same reason?

        I know you like to challenge everything I say, however, please do read – even what you copied and posted – first. I said people who RANDOMLY DECIDE…………………

      • response

        “I do not want a bunch of people who randomly decide not to have health care piggybacking on it.”
        “His savings were well gone and he was on MassHealth and as was the case with your brother, the citizens of MA helped pay for his care and I am also grateful.”
        are tsalkv and kvtsal the same person? if so, how can you make both statements?

      • BostonIrish

        tsal, it’s unconstitutional, period. I cannot be told by my government that I must have healthcare. Period. No disputing it. It is not a prerequisite to being a legal citizen and I should NOT be penalized for it. End of discussion for me.

      • Tsal-kv

        Hi BI. Is it constitutional to force me to pay for your healthcare if you just do not want insurance?

  • moterhed

    You mean theft care………………………………………………

  • Elena

    What about Welfare recipients? Will they pay for their insurance like other citizens?
    So far their drugs costs them $1per prescription and visits to all doctors are free.

    • tsal-kv

      Elena welfare recipients were on MassHealth programs long before RomneyCare. It isn’t people on welfare I worry about as much as I worry about the joe smoe’s of the world who can afford insurance but chose not to have it.

      Joe I knew a person who had your same outlook. Young, healthy, active. Cancer knows no bounds. Fortunately unlike you he had the foresight to have insurance. Otherwise he would not only have left his young family without a dad and husband, but he would have left them with horrendous debt and the rest of this state would have picked up the tab as well. In this state, there is no excuse for having the insurance that provides preventive care and that will cover the bills if the very worst happens – and I pray it never happens. Read Sarah Forbes comment.

  • joe smoe

    no coverage no problem, have not been to a doctor in 30 years and i really doubt it will be anytime soon, bad laws need to be broken, but use discretion. 98%, ya right

    • Willow

      Sooner or later you will need a doctor, or two or three, and probably some expensive procedures to save your life. You can thank the taxpayers now who will ultimately pick up your tab. Too bad there’s no cure for stupid.

      • BostonIrish

        Willow, it is still not reason enough to make all citizens to be forced to get a healthcare insurance plan or else. It’s not right for the federal government to demand by law that you have to have it. Period.

  • emom

    I see a bigger problem.. this everyone must have healthcare coverage is great ,,,,BUT at what expense to the people…. REALLY NOW,,, lets see,, anyone that is WORKING and has access to health care and dental, thank your lucky stars,,, as for the cost, its not all just the free health care that is given out there,,, blame that on the greedy providers, facilities & pharmaceuticals that charge outrageous prices. Now ask your self about all this free health care,, sure there are many on it, some well shouldn’t be, But there are many out there at this moment that need it.. There are many that are still out of work and they do not have health care,, I can say the cost of healthcare is outrageous as is, and the health care for those out of work and on unemployment well some simply can not afford it, I KNOW, and when your unemployment runs out you may have no choice but to go on the states insurance,,,OH did I mention that the cost for the health plans may be unreachable to many if they do not have the funds to pay for it,, Lets see would you rather starve, be homeless to pay for your health care…. there are so many in this situation… I have known many.. Its sad when so many don’t see the bigger picture,, the mandatory must have health care or get penalized wow,,, Do you think these people that are not working can afford over a $1000 in penalties.
    Now let me address the long term care I can say I am well versed in that.. when you have a loved one that becomes gravely ill and there care is more than any person could ever afford and you loose your job and your insurance what should anyone do…. You apply for state health care, I see it this way,, you pay into that for decades you should be allowed to use it.. You pay into a system you potentially do not use till you are 65 so if you must why not. I know it seems like all is burdened by it, But everyone at some point could be faced with a crisis and the need for assistance. Should health care be available to all YES, BUT should it cost us so much that we must take out a mortgage or give up eating or living to do so.
    Again back to the cost, a lot of it is the fraud that goes on in the insurance industry.. Its in the millions and its passed on to everyone that has insurance, your premiums go up because of it, Doctor fraud, patient fraud, fraud in what is charged to various people. I have seen stories after stories of it, makes you wonder. I can not understand why a person must pay such high premiums with a high deductible, its not good on the wallet for many never mind the elderly..
    Lets look at the seniors and what they must pay for premiums some pay over $200 month and they have a $500 deductible that must be met first before they pay less for the meds. There copy vary depending on the kind of doctor. Primary care doctor $30 to $50, specialty doctors can be $50 to 75. Emergency room, that cost can be up to $500. How many seniors can really afford that. Not to mention the cost of their meds after their deductible has been met. in a month some can pay as much a a few hundred dollars for meds..
    What should we do then. Heaven forbid anyone should ever need help in the health care department and was faced with a tragedy,,,,
    I so understand what Sarah Forbes stated….Cause I live it today.. Life stinks but faced with a tragedy what should a person do….
    In the end health care should not cost as much as it does, blame is not solely on those that abuse the system but those that charge high prices for their services. Most do not see what their doctors charge their insurance I think many would be in awe once they saw it, simple blood work $150 for a single test,, outrageous,,,, blame the ones that give you the insurance and those that charge to much for services.

    • tsal-kv

      emom – you are right – except that in many cases the care through the Mass health Connector is not free. Premiums are based on income.

      A new interest in doctors around the country as well as in MA is the single payer system. Doctors are in many cases going bankrupt because they literally get their payments last out of whatever the almightly private insurance companies decide they will pay for a procedure/treatment. I fully support the single payer plan – which would do away with private insurance. I firmly believe the majority – if not all – stems from the private insurance industry.

      • tsal-kv

        emom – there is a sliding scale – I know a lot of young kids on the MA health plan – ones who both have families and who do not. Most pay a portion and have never had a problem. And their expenses were all taken into consideration. As far as single payer – there is some good information on the Internet about it and it’s worth looking into. To begin with admin costs for private insurance is about 18-20%. Single payer’s would be equal to medicare admin – about 3-5%.

        I am not disputing what you are saying about private insurance companies since I have dealt with far too many family members who have been taken for a ride by the private companies.

        The one thing that neither Romneycare or Obamacare do not have is any way to stop the costs from rising – Rommey because they didn’t know how to incorporate it and felt it was better to get it passed and deal with the premium cost issue later which I can understand. Obama because the right doesn’t want any part of health care reform that limits the private insurance companies – because they are in bed with them. That I do not understand.

      • emom

        I never said the health connect was free, However its not CHEAP either,, BEEN THERE. If you make just a bit to much you cant get free care, BUT if you still do not make enough to afford the other side the costs are just to high because you have bills, must have food and have children, then what choices are there.. NONE. Sorry it just does not work the way many seem to think, They have this formula that if you make a certain amount they feel you should be able to afford this certain amount for your health care,, BUT they never take into consideration , your bills, rent, food, utilities,, How do they justify the costs to us if its impossible to afford in the first place, ITS FLAWED big time. And as for this single payer system at what cost again to the public, SORRY doctors, facilities and the drug companies are getting richer off of the consumers because they charge these crazy prices and then scream because the insurance companies will not pay for it… REALLY NOW.. Insurance companies take an average of about 50 doctors , facilities or pharmacies and take that average to say how much they will pay, then lets not forget the way these plans are created 70%, 80% 90% or 100% coverage,, Who covers the rest,,,, some how that discount from the insurance companies is passed on to the consumers in the form of higher costs thru higher costs of services and drugs. Take a look at it you will be in such shock.. I have seen it for decades, working the industry for many years and seeing it first hand… So to blame only the insurance companies for the cost of things,, no ,, its a group effort of both sides …

  • Just a thought

    This is a republican idea which was drafted in response to Bill Clintons proposed plan back in the cigar days. Everyone is debating if a plan like this is constitutional and it is. You can’t drive without insurance so why walk the streets.

    The problem is that Barack passed a proposal that has multiple idiotic additions which will hamstring MD’s treating patients with serious illnesses to single methods approved by the FDA/Govt. For those of you talking about cancer you understand the need to encourage new types of therapy or a range of treatments.
    And if you thought healthcare Co.s are bad now, wait until there is even less competition and the players are subsidized…Think Amtrak/BCBS

    • tsal-kv

      Just a thought – what are those additions please?

  • Foolishness

    For those who worry about paying for other’s free care, perhaps if the illegals weren’t here getting free care on our dime…… yes, they are on Mass Health which my citizen, cancer-ridden Mother could not get approved for. Who pays for Mass Health? Taxpayers! And yes, I know many who are illegal and on it and think it’s just great to get all this free healthcare. So this law tells all citizens they must have healthcare, what about all the illegals here getting free care?? Where is the outrage over that?

    • Deval Patrick

      I’m not outraged at all. In fact I think its funny that you are paying for people who aren’t even here legally. I mean think about it, if you took a trip to london and broke your knuckle during a brawl at a soccer game do you think the brits would patch you up and send you home scott free?
      Well try and not think about it too much because it will make you insane with anger.

      I am rich so I will have a private doctor through the rich guy network….you might as well go to Russia for healthcare. thanks for your vote! love ya!

      • Barney F

        John C: that is most likely because she has health insurance here in the states. They don’t just give free healthcare willy nilly in the UK!
        You need to think before you type

        PS. What did you do to your mother in law that made her require stitches?

      • JohnC

        Actually “Deval Patrick”, the answer to your question about an injury in London is yes. My mother-in-law was injured in London; the doctors at the hospital stitched her up, and there was no charge.

      • JohnC

        England has no mechanism to accept payment. They did not ask for any documents relating to insurance. She fell down some stairs in the underground.

  • Patricia

    In all this Healtcare Act talk, the thing we should be watching out for is the fact that if this passes, the government will now have a say in how you live your life. Is that 93 year old person is going to get rationed care? How about obese people, will the “food police” start on them? Having government intrude on our lives is a very dangerous thing. Just today I read how the NHS in Britain is going to have to start looking at rationed care in order to keep NHS sovent. No on wants to say it but it’s inevitable. (Palin was basically correct with death panels)

    And, doctors are ripped off more by the government than the insurance companies. They are bound by contract with the various insurance agencies, but they have to take whatever the government sees fit to pay. For instance, if they have $500,000 in medicare billings, the feds can say – we’ll pay 46 cents on the dollar and settle that way. The doctors only recourse is to take it. Do we really want a government agency involved in this?

    • web

      The doctor’s other recourse is to charge even higher rates for procedures and medication. Pass them onto the insured. The insured get higher premiums passed onto them from their insurance companies, and then higher copays. Doctors will never get ripped off or they wouldn’t be in’s the consumer who will ultimately get ripped off.

      • Patricia

        Not when we’re talking about government reimbursements. Medicaid, Medicare are not run by an insurance company but by the government. The government does not pay penny to penny. I did reimbursements. The hospital is forced to eat alot of money that is due from medicare and medicaid – that’s part of the problem with inner city hospitals since a bulk of their patient pool is medicaid clients. Look it up…

  • response

    tsal – my response was based on yours…you can’t have it both ways…either you don’t want people piggybacking on your healthcare, but it’s ok for seniors to have to go on masshealth….
    And yes, I have family members with dementia and family members with cancer that I have had to care for….and yes, I KNOW there are a huge number of seniors in nursing homes that need to go on mass health, but there are many more of them that do not qualify due to the fact they get a pension. that pension is not enough to cover the costs…which was were I was….
    I had to re-fi my home and take a loan to pay for her care. She worked 30 years for THIS state and retired with a small pension but she could not qualify for state health care…but as others have said, if she was illegal, she would have been covered….

    • tsal-kv

      Response, this is getting a bit funny. First, you choose to ignore the word RANDOMLY and now you have simply omitted it. I’m not sure why that is difficult to understand Let’s see if this helps. I have no problem with helping anyone who has done all he/she can to help himself; e.g., a person who has insurance. I do have a problem with people who choose not to have health insurance simply because they don’t want to pay the premium and then incur bills which I will then pay for. Those are the people we are talking about here – the ones who are now required to have health insurance. Clearly, we are not discussing seniors since they are already required to have health insurance and have paid for it their entire life. That’s what this discussion is about, response.

      And I have no idea why the person you speak of could not qualify. My dad’s very small pension was taken along with his SS. Basically the state takes everything except for the house. They will not take the house until a person passes and then it goes to the state also. You were lucky you only had to refi – we lost the home we grew up in. Either way, I would think you more than most would understand the ridiculous limits to our healthcare system.

      • Tsal-kv

        Response and that is the horror of the system we currently have. It’s a terribly sad story. Soon we boomers will retire and need care and this will happen to thousands. We have nothing in place for seniors. No way for you or me to help them so they can stay in their homes. I never mind helping another as long as that person helps himself. Your mom – my dad – and so many others like them do not deserve what they have to face at the end of an honorable life. bTW it isn’t just this state. It’s nationwide. I honestly do support the single payer option. I havnt had time to read in depth how VT is doing but need to.

      • response

        My mother had no home, it was me who had to re-fi MY home in order to pay for her care. She had health insurance but it didn’t cover the cost of being in a long term care facility. Medicare will only cover the first 100 days in a rehab hospital. Once you are over that 100 day marker, it’s a pay as you go system.
        Since she worked for the state, she did not get SS. when you work for the state, you do not get SS or your spouses SS. Her pension could not cover the cost of being in a facility. There was not away of keeping her home, I did it for months, but due to her condition, just couldn’t take care of her anymore.
        In the end, the cost health insurance in this state has gone through the roof. There is no easy answer and it’s very complicated. When loved ones are trying to deal with getting the right care, you also have to think of what you can afford and what you can’t afford. But people on Masshealth get it free while others family has to pay for care not covered under health insurance…go figure…same situation as Sarah’s above, but I paid for it….
        The word radomly does not mean just people who choose not to have health insurance? after reading your last comment, I do now understand, but re-read your comment and you will see, you did not clarify what you meant by randomlly.

  • firemanmark

    I have no problem with taking care of elderly or disabled who need the help.I do have a problem with the Aunt Zoonies and Drunk Unk who are here illegally.This country is turn Socialist and people keep voting for buffoons like Obama.The Federal Government has NO right under the Constitution to mandate healthcare,or anything else for that matter that isn’t specifically called for by the Articles of Confedration.IF Obamao and his Socialist Party don’t go down in defeat in November then life as we know it will cease.If you want to be slaves to the non-working class then vote for Obummer.If,on the other hand,you cherish freedom and your rights then vote for ANY Republican!

    • tsal-kv

      frank – the govt mandates we pay for medicare and SS – they’ve got the right and no one seems to be clamoring about that. However, my guess is supreme court – being anything but what truly represents this country – will repeal the mandate. I’m hoping Obama is smart enough to turn it around and start working on a single payer plan. That’s where we really need to be focusing.

      May I clarify that last statement – if you cherish freedom but don’t mind living below the poverty level vote for any republican :) Just askin/

  • web

    “State officials haven’t figured out how to control spiraling costs, for example, and that’s a big problem”..I thought that was one of the main reasons we adopted the healthcare law in the first place. Maybe I’m wrong..but what was the original intent? If we can’t get that right, then what was the point of it all? My result: my copays are huge, my out of pocket expenses have risen, my insurance premiums have doubled. Not so good on my end. I just don’t understand the point of it all.
    And I’m worried that our rates will skyrocket even more if we have to pay for all the illegal’s healthcare in this country (TX, Ariz, CA, etc).
    If we can’t get it right in little MA, how are we going to manage it for the entire US?

  • producer611

    Seems the debate is all about the wrong thing – which is the source of the runaway costs – and how they are just passed on to whoever pays.
    No other industry could survive with just passing on costs (without substantiation) like the healthcare industry does.
    How long would an airline or your cable company last if they did that?
    Also, the entire industry is set up for acute care, not the chronic conditions that 70% of people have.
    So opaque costs and mis-structured delivery – none of which is really addressed by any of this debate.
    And yes, higher education is not far behind – since it, too, is considered a ‘right’. Compare the escalating costs of tuition to the CPI over the last decade – you are in for a shock.

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