Massachusetts Commonwealth Care Program
When Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney signed into law the Health Care Access and Affordability Plan on April 12, 2006, some saw in it a potential model for other states to follow, while others viewed it as the first step toward socialized health care.
The plan requires employers of more than 11 workers to provide health insurance to their employees, and individual residents over the age of 18 are required to purchase health insurance. Employers who do not comply will pay a penalty for each worker, while individual noncompliance will result in the loss of personal income tax deductions. However, individuals with annual incomes below $15,315 (two-person family $20,350, families of three or more at $25,755) are exempted from penalties.