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Romney Calls Health Care Law A Tax, Plus The Pros & Cons of Massachusetts’ Mandatory Health Insurance Program.


Wolfeboro, –
N.H. - Mitt Romney said Wednesday that President Obama’s signature health care law amounts to a tax increase for middle-income Americans, directly contradicting one of his senior advisers who said this week that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee believed it was a penalty and not a tax.
Getting in line with a recent GOP talking point, Romney said in an interview with CBS News that he accepts the Supreme Court‘s ruling last week upholding the Obama law as constitutional by calling the individual mandate a tax, saying “that’s what it is” and adding that there was “no way around” the majority’s decision.
“While I agreed with the dissent, that’s taken over by the fact that the majority of the court said it’s a tax, and therefore it is a tax,” Romney told CBS. “They have spoken. There is no way around that. You could try and say you wish they had decided a different way, but they didn’t. They concluded it was a tax, that’s what it is, and the America people know that President Obama has broken the pledge he made. He said he wouldn’t raise taxes on middle-income Americans.”
Romney’s change in position Wednesday highlights the former Massachusetts governor’s awkward history on health care. Romney pledges to push for full repeal of Obama’s federal health law, but championed and signed similar state legislation when he was governor.
The Massachusetts law, like Obama’s federal law, imposed a fine on people who refused to buy health coverage.  MORE FROM SOURCE  Thank you Brian

Pros & Cons of Massachusetts’

Mandatory Health Insurance

Program

Background

Massachusetts Mandatory Health Insurance program will provide health coverage as follows for the state’s 500,000 uninsured:
– 100,000 poverty-level residents qualify, but have not yet signed up, for Medicaid. They will be legally required to sign-up. Price Tag: $225 million a year, half to be repaid by the federal government.
– The incomes of 200,000 resident families are too low to afford health insurance, but they don’t qualify for Medicaid. Nationwide, this group comprises about 70% of the 45 million Americans.
Massachusetts plans to partially or fully subsidize health insurance premiums for this group. Those earning between 100% and 300% will pay part of their premiums, calculated on a sliding scale. Those earning 100% of less of the federal poverty level will have their premiums paid by the state.
Price Tag: $720 million a year, initially to be funded by a $1 billion fund already set-aside for uninsured care.
– The remaining 200,000 uninsured are deemed to be able to afford health insurance, and will be required to do so by 2008 or be assessed substantial annual tax penalties and/or wage garnishments.

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