The Massachusetts health care law

The law's history and effect on Massachusetts and beyond.

Massachusetts health care law


In 2006, Massachusetts passed a law requiring most adults to have health insurance or pay a penalty. It offered subsidies to make coverage more affordable for lower-income people and created an exchange where people could easily shop for health plans. The legislation, pushed and signed by then-Governor Mitt Romney, became a model for the Affordable Care Act, the national health law signed by President Obama in 2010. On this page, you will find coverage of the Massachusetts law’s provisions; the debate that led to its enactment; and Romney’s role in its passage and his statements about the law as a presidential candidate. You can also see how it compares with the Affordable Care Act and read about what’s happened in Massachusetts since the state law passed, including efforts to curb rising health costs.

June 18, 2007

Q&A: Countdown to coverage

On July 1, 2007, state law required every adult to have health insurance if affordable plans are available. There are many options. The following is a guide to those choices.


Romney and health care: In the thick of history

The former governor has faced a fusillade from the right for the Mass. law. But a look back shows why he can’t, and won’t, back away. It was an amazing political feat, and no one’s role was bigger than his.


‘RomneyCare’ — a revolution that basically worked

The former governor’s health plan is a policy piñata among his rivals. But a detailed Globe review finds the overhaul has achieved its main goals without devastating state finances. The remaining worry is future costs.

EDITORIAL: NOV. 21, 2004

My plan for Massachusetts health insurance reform

OVER THE PAST two years, Massachusetts state government has made enormous progress. Together with the Legislature, we’ve tamed out-of-control budgets, revamped housing policy, accelerated the building of new schools, opened higher education scholarships to working families, and streamlined excessive bureaucracies -- all without raising taxes.

April 13, 2006

Joy, worries on healthcare

Governor Mitt Romney signed most of a sweeping new healthcare bill into law at a festive Faneuil Hall ceremony hailed as a hallmark of bipartisan achievement, even as healthcare specialists expressed concern that the plan could start losing money in three years.

Role in today's national politics