NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 31, 2012

Obamacare will improve Romneycare

To The Editor,

Many people mistakenly believe that because Massachusetts already has Romneycare, there will be no further benefits here, in 2014, when Obamacare takes effect. This is not correct. These are some of the benefits that will accrue to Massachusetts, according to the Mass. Medical Society.

More working families will be eligible for state-subsidized health insurance. Currently, Massachusetts helps people whose income is 300 percent above the federal poverty level. Federal law will expand that to 400 percent.

Additional federal Medicaid funds to Massachusetts will bring $2 billion to the state over six years to cover childless adults, and $100 million annually from 2016 to 2019 to cover children.

Massachusetts seniors on Medicare and people with disabilities will see significant help with prescriptiondrug costs as the “donut hole” is closed.

Primary care doctors will receive higher Medicare reimbursements. Massachusetts residents will be able to purchase a low-cost health insurance option if their work-provided insurance costs 9.5 percent or more of the worker’s income.

Uninsured Massachusetts residents will pay lower penalties. The federal $95 annual fine is lower than the state’s penalty, which ranges from $228 to $1212 per year.

Community health centers will receive millions in additional funding.

Michael Sandberg, MD

Newburyport

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