Some citizens of the Commonwealth don't even want to pay for their own
health care insurance. Under the plan, everyone in Massachusetts is
required to buy insurance (or pay a penalty), with the state providing
a 100% subsidy for those who earn less than 150% of the poverty level.
Those receiving the full subsidy are enthusiastic. The state had hoped
to sign up 57,000 uninsured and they've over-shot their target: 76,200
of Massachusetts' poorest citizens have enrolled.
At the other end of the spectrum, the program isn't doing as well.
Uninsured citizens earning more than 300% of the poverty level are
expected to buy their own insurance. Here, the state hoped that 228,000
of its uninsured citizens would sign up. So far, just 15,000 have
enrolled. Apparently, they've done the math and decided that it would
be cheaper to pay the penalty. But their premiums are needed to keep
the program going. If more in this group don't sign up, it is not at
all clear how the state will be able to continue subsidizing the poor.
All of this adds up to "people without health insurance are so because it is not worth the price." If they get it free, fine, they will use it like crazy, but they won't pay for it. So I should for them?