The state has already backed off of "universal." About 160,000 uninsured people in the state have incomes that are too high to qualify for subsidized health insurance — but too low to afford the lowest-cost unsubsidized plans. About 60,000 of these working poor won't face a penalty for not getting insurance, but the 100,000 others are in a bind.Because the state is attempting to cover all patients with a government-run system divorced from market incentives, it achieves neither universal coverage, nor cost savings. One might as well attempt to eliminate homelessness by passing a law requiring that all people rent a government-owned apartment.
"What I'm starting to see," [single mother Maureen] Linehan said, "is the people have to pay for their health care, and now they can't afford to pay their rent."