“What are they doing messing with me?”

As John McDonough notes on A Healthy Blog, the Globe published a first-rate piece profiling four people affected by the new health insurance mandate. The headlines tell the story:

  • Osmani Rodriguez: Says the state should rethink the insurance options it is offering
  • Annabelle Blake: If she had a choice, she might opt to skip insurance
  • Betty Gitlin-Rich: It’s been a long time since she could afford peace of mind like this
  • James Charles Roy: His family’s longstanding health plan is no longer good enough

The truth is health care is too expensive in Massachusetts. A good feature of mandated coverage is that it will give more people a stake in seeing that health care remains/becomes affordable. My hope is that as universal coverage comes into force there will be pressure for a restructuring of health care financing and delivery in this state that reduces costs and improves service and quality.

Meanwhile, I can definitely relate to Mr. Roy. His current insurance plans lack drug coverage, which is a rational choice on his part as I’ve described before. The new mandate requires Rx coverage and that will cost Mr. Roy an extra $1300 per year. As he says:

“The goal of universal coverage, as I understand it, was to get poor people coverage,” he added. “What are they doing messing with me?”

March 27, 2007

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