They approved the mandantory health insurance bill. This means that every citizen in MA will now be requred to have insurance, or face penalties. I'm sure the insurance companies are salavating over the new business this will bring. What concerns me is the fact that a family of 3 at 38,000 is at the top end of the "sliding scale" for affordable health insurance. This is fine, if you are married and have children. What is the top for those who do not have children? What about people who can "afford" insurance by their definition, but have an illness such as dabetes? I'm sure someone making $40,000 per year would be just fine having to shell out around 700-800 per month on insurance.
I'd make it a point to have employers be required to offer insurance to their employees, rather than requiring the individual. Have the insurance based on the wages the individual is paid. Penalise those who employ people but don't offer insurance. Leave the individual alone.
While they have penalties for employers, it doesn't apply for very small businesses (nor should it apply), so the worker in those businesses will either have to find another job or go out on their own for health insurance (which means that person will not get the deep discounts offered for groups, believe me, it becomes a significant chunk of your income that way, especially if you're making $12/hour or less.)