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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Questions Not Asked in the Gubernatorial Debate

Questions Not Asked in the Gubernatorial Debate

April 23, 2006

Watching this morning's Democratic gubernatorial debate, couldn't help notice, not a word about health care or the new health reform law. I know Jon Keller invited questions and I failed to respond, better late than never and maybe next time:

1. According the legislative estimates, the new health reform law will begin operating in a deficit by FY2009, a landmark the next governor will reach 18 months into your term. Are you committed to full implementation so everyone in the state has access to quality, affordable coverage within three years?

2. Even business leaders suggest that the $295 assessment on employers who don't cover their workers is minimal. Do you support raising the assessment to the level endorsed by the House and by 83,000 voters who signed the MassACT ballot petition -- 5% of gross payroll for employers with less than 100 workers, and 7% for employers with more than 100 workers?

3. How do you define "affordable"? And do you agree the individual mandate should only be enforced against individuals for whom the purchase of coverage is "affordable?"

4. What will you do to address rising health costs and rising insurance premiums?

Just wondering...