Michael Merlina was fed up, frustrated and seemingly out of options when he walked into Middlesex Superior Court last week and plunked down $275 for court fees.
With help from a few clerks, Merlina became his own lawyer and filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector Authority.
The 29-year-old North Reading glazier is fighting the $2,000 state fine for not having health insurance. In 2009, the first year penalties were in place, Merlina paid a $400 fine for him his wife.
This time, he balked.
The following is one of the few articles I’ve come across that addresses the issue of affordability of this health insurance scam by patients rather than focusing on a loss of profits or insurance business in this state, which most other articles do. Written over a year ago, Dr. King writes in support of a national plan similar to Medicare, but as we all know now, that possibility is long gone. Looks like the national plan will devastate the rest of the country just like it has the little guy and gal here in Massachusetts who have to choose between paying for health insurance or paying a mortgate, rent, utility bills, student loan, or even an alternative health care provider who isn’t recognized under these plans. I’m opting for the latter since I still believe I have the right to health. Unfortunately, I will be penalized for choosing health over contributing profits to corporations.
Mass. healthcare reform is failing us
What would such a system provide? The prestigious Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, has defined five criteria for healthcare reform. Coverage should be: universal, not tied to a job, affordable for individuals and families, affordable for society, and it should provide access to high-quality care for everyone.
The state’s plan flunks on all counts.