And for good reason. Even as other states (including New York) look at implementing similar plans, Massachusetts is finding that the package is failing to meet its goals.
The plan was supposed to do two things: achieve universal health‐insurance coverage and control costs. As its final components take effect, the reality shows it has done neither.
One key feature was an unprecedented requirement for everyone in the state to get health insurance. With the final deadline for that mandate just two weeks away, some 200,000 to 400,000 Massachusetts residents have failed to comply.
This includes the overwhelming majority of those with incomes too high to qualify for state subsidies. And this is on top of the 20 percent of the state’s uninsured who were exempted from the mandate because buying insurance would be too much of a financial burden.
So it’s now clear that the state won’t get anywhere close to universal coverage.
Massachusetts has done better at signing people up for subsidized coverage. No surprise: People are all too happy to sign up if others pay the bill — and Romney extended subsidies well into the middle class — a family of four earning $63,000 per year qualifies.
That “success” here translates to failure on another front: The cost of the program has exploded; it’s running $150 million above the original projection for this year alone.