In Mass., individual mandate sparks little outcry
It’s the single most contentious element of President Barack Obama’s health care law: the requirement that nearly everyone have insurance or face a financial hit.
But in Massachusetts, the only state with a so-called individual mandate, the threat of a tax penalty has sparked little public outcry since the state’s landmark health care law was signed in 2006 by the governor, Mitt Romney.
Romney, now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, pushed for the mandate saying it would discourage “free riders,” those who can afford health coverage but instead rely on emergency rooms for free care and drive up insurance premiums for everyone else.
“What we are mandating is that individuals have personal responsibility either to pay for their own health care bill or to receive insurance,” Romney said at the time.