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MA: Landmark Health Care Bill Going to Vote

Every Massachusetts resident will be required to have health insurance by July 2007-- with a combination of governments subsidies, employer assessments and individual fines used to achieve that result under legislation which was approved by the state House and Senate today. The broad-based Affordable Care Today! (ACT!) coalition endorsed the bill, although with reservations. As key health care leader John McDonough wrote on his blog, the law will expand affordable coverage for hundreds of thousands of state residents with better cost control systems for existing health plans, but will dump too much of the costs on individual workers, leave too many costs on employers who do provide insurance for their employees and too little on employers who don't. But in the end, the coalition felt the bill, despite its flaws, "is an historic milestone, a genuinely positive accomplishment, setting the stage for enormous progress in the coming 3-5 years."