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Making a mandate actually work

Washington Post, October 26, 2009

As the proposed $900 billion healthcare legislation is under debate, a critical unknown is whether people would comply with a mandate on individuals to carry insurance. The Senate Finance Committee set its maximum penalty for noncompliance at $750 per year, at the same time creating subsidies to help low-income Americans buy coverage. In the House, the penalty is based on income, but works out to about the same for a middle-class family. But many reform supporters say the finance panel's subsidies are too low, and insurers are pushing for larger penalties.