Massachusetts Anti-Abortion Group Seeks To Repeal State’s Individual Mandate

An anti-abortion group is gearing up an effort to place a question on the Massachusetts ballot to repeal the requirement that all state residents obtain health insurance, a core provision of former governor Mitt Romney’s “landmark 2006 health care law.” Under the law, uninsured residents below 300 percent of the federal poverty level can participate in the state-subsidized Commonwealth Care program and receive a comprehensive package of benefits that includes “doctor’s visits, surgery, radiology and lab” and abortion services:

Anne Fox, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, told the News Service she hopes the repeal of the mandate will lead to an eventual dismantling of the entire law, which she said has lengthened the wait for doctor visits, contributed to rising insurance premiums and resulted in an increase in taxpayer-funded abortion.

“It’s a place to start,” she said of the petition effort. “We’re not saying that the individual mandate is the end. It’s the beginning.”

Fox said publicity around the national health care law – which she said should also be repealed – had focused attention on Massachusetts’s law. […]

According to an advisory distributed by the organization Monday, MCFL intends to file 10 signatures with the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley by Tuesday to begin a repeal of “Romney-care,” a name that critics of the law have used derisively to tie it to the former governor and Republican presidential candidate.

It would be interesting to know what Romney — who has embraced the law as a “state solution” for a “state problem”, but has said that he opposes a federal individual requirement and government funding for abortion — will say about the measure, which most Massachusetts voters will likely oppose. A recent poll from Harvard School of Public Health and the Boston Globe “found that 63 percent of Massachusetts residents support the 2006 health law, up 10 percentage points in the past two years.” Fifty-one percent percent said they favor the individual mandate.

More than 98 percent of Massachusetts residents now have health care coverage as a result of the provision, including 99.8 percent of children — the highest in the nation.