Uninsured Ignore New Health-Care Law

Massachusetts takes its time enforcing universal requirement
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2007 5:36 AM CDT
Uninsured Ignore New Health-Care Law
Leaders from the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Steve Vogel, left, and Debbie Varrs knock on a door to give information about Massachusetts' new health care reform law during their informative outreach campaign in Boston's Roxbury section Thursday, June 28, 2007. The state's landmark health...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A law requiring Massachusetts residents to have health insurance kicked in yesterday, but two-thirds of the 372,000 residents who need coverage haven't signed up, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Massachusetts is a pioneer in universal health care, and most people eligible for subsidized care have insurance, but some 6% of the state's population currently goes without.

The state mandated heath care last year, expanded Medicaid and established a plan for low-income residents. Large groups of people are simply ignoring the law, apparently willing to risk a $219 penalty, but the state professes not to be worried. Says a spokesman for the board overseeing the initiative: "It's a marathon, not a sprint." (Read more health insurance stories.)

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