Making health care a cost of doing business

The Speaker of the House in Massachusetts is proposing a 5 to 7 percent tax on employers that don’t provide health insurance. Massachusetts is in the midst of trying to get to universal coverage, with potential mandates for individuals to buy insurance and now this employer proposal. I doubt this bill will become law, but assume for a moment that the state achieves universal coverage through mandated health insurance purchases by employers and individuals. It seems to me that the most likely results will be more spending on health insurance premiums and more spending on health care. It seems unlikely that a shift to preventive care and away from emergency care will keep spending down or even in line.

November 1, 2005

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