Update on the Massachussetts Health Insurance Mandate

Via Michael Tanner:

  • Slightly less than half of Massachusetts' uninsured population
    actually complied with the mandate. True, the number of people without
    health insurance was reduced from 13% of the state's population to 7%,
    but when the bill was passed, advocates promised that "all Massachusetts citizens will have health insurance."  Perhaps it depends on your definition of "all."
  • Most of those who are signing up are low-income individuals, whose
    coverage is fully or partially subsidized, proving once again that if
    you give something away for free people will take it. It certainly
    appears that it is the expensive and generous Massachusetts subsidies
    (up to 300% of the poverty level), not the unprecedented individual
    mandate that is responsible for much of the increased coverage.
  • Adverse selection remains a big problem, with the young and healthy
    failing to comply with the mandate. The state refused to change its
    community rating laws which drive up the cost of insurance for young,
    healthy individuals. Not surprisingly, they don't find this a good deal.
  • The program is far exceeding its projected costs, with at least a 33% budget overrun in its first year.
  • The program has increased demand for health care services without
    increasing the supply of providers. As a result, patients are having
    trouble finding providers and waiting lists (Canada here we come) are
    beginning to develop.


  1. CRC:

    Obviously what's needed is stricter enforcement with more severe penalties.

    Then maybe people will start to see why it is that socialism ultimately leads to totalitarianism.

  2. Chan:

    Good things are given by this blog. Thanks!

  3. Erica:

    As someone who lives in Canada,I know first hadn that socilaized health care doesnt work. I understand that the American stystem isn't that great either, but when people tell me that going to Canada's system will fix everything I have to laugh. Yes, we have huge wait times. Yes, I can't find a doctor so I'm 18 and I still go to my pediatrician, every 3 years or so. Or the walk in clinic. Luckily I am very healthy so it doesn't affect me too much.