It was the inspiration for Obamacare, and beloved by the writer—but its biggest champion no longer wants to take credit for it:
“It was his signature achievement as governor of the commonwealth — a market- based solution to the problem of access to quality health insurance that included an individual mandate requiring that people be insured. If it was determined that you could afford health insurance and you didn’t buy it, you were assessed a penalty on your income taxes. The law has succeeded so well that six years into its implementation, 97 percent of the working-age adults in Massachusetts are covered by one form of health insurance or another, as are 99.8 percent of the children in the state. Before the law was passed, 67 percent of the businesses in the state offered health insurance to their employees. That number is up to 77 percent now. The program consistently polls at about 63 percent in its public approval. It has made thousands of lives easier, including my own.
“There is chronic disease in my immediate family. Last fall, I left a job that provided health insurance and went back on the open market. I worked through the Health Connector and Commonwealth Choice, both of them programs set up in order to implement the 2006 law. There was a remarkable lack of red tape involved, and I was able to insure my family with as good a health-insurance plan as I could afford. Under the old system, at least one member of my family would have been uninsurable for reasons with which Mitt Romney is very familiar.”