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Please print out copies, obtain as many signatures as you can, and return them by March 31 to: Diane Cooper Bridges, 19 Tucker Street, Lenox, MA 01240. If you are willing to write a brief description of how the insurance law is affecting you, please send them along. For more information, email [email protected] .

For a pdf version of this petition, click here.

MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS REQUEST A CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING
ON THE MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH INSURANCE LAW

I am a resident of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Health Insurance Law is not working; health insurance remains unaffordable for many residents and hundreds of thousands remain uninsured. Despite this fact, uninsured residents are still required to pay for a private insurance policy that many cannot afford. For numerous residents the available insurance products are prohibitively expensive to purchase, let alone to use due to high copays and deductibles, and are not likely to provide coverage for the care they need.

The consequence of remaining uninsured in Massachusetts, without receiving official state permission, is to face tax penalties which will be enforced by the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue as an income tax debt, thus, subject to interest and late fees that can lead to wage garnishment, seizure of bank accounts and liens on property. These penalties will be enforced without due process of law.

Many of us are confronted with the cruel choice to pay harsh penalties for being uninsured or to become more impoverished – to intentionally lower our income – in order to become eligible for more affordable coverage or lower penalties.

All insured residents are required by this law to have “minimum creditable coverage” in effect before December 31, 2008 or they, too, will be penalized. In many cases, this will require upgrading their current policy which will be cost prohibitive.

Either I, or someone I know, is suffering from the effects of this law. This is not right. Accordingly, we request that the Honorable John Conyers, Chair, House Judiciary Committee of the United States Congress, host a congressional briefing on the Massachusetts Health Insurance Law.

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