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'Required' healthcare saved woman's life

March 28, 2010 at 2:48 PM

BOSTON, March 28 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts woman forced to get health insurance or face a fine -- a key provision in the nation's new healthcare law -- says she is grateful she did.

For the last three years, Massachusetts has required people to get health insurance or pay a fine, a requirement President Obama adopted for the new healthcare legislation, and which will go into nationwide effect in 2014, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

Jaclyn Michalos, 30, signed up for subsidized coverage in Massachusetts. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A double mastectomy and $150,000 in medical bills followed, all covered by her new policy, the newspaper reported.

"Honest to God, it saved my life," Michalos said.

But not everyone is happy with the Massachusetts experiment.

Hospitals say they are suffering financially with the influx of new patients, while small-business owners complain of the new fines and premiums.

Dave Glispin, who owns a sign company, saw his premiums go up by 22 percent.

"Ben Franklin said the two things you can count on are death and taxes," Glispin said. "I would add increasing healthcare costs to that list."

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