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Predictions?

Early this week, the state is expected to release the number of employers (with 11 or more workers) who have paid a fine, for the first time, for failure to provide health insurance. There have been many predictions about how much the state will raise through the fine, which was estimated at $295 for uninsured each worker.

At the time the bill passed lin April 2006, the fine was expected to raise 45 million dollars.

In October 2006, the Romney administration lowered that expectation to 26 million dollars. Some health care advocacy groups said the number dropped because the Romney administration's definition of what it means to make a "fair and reasonable contribution" to employer coverage was too lenient. Here's the regulation; the key section is at the top of page 3.

Earlier this year, the Patrick administration predicted the fine would bring in 24 million dollars.

Some business leaders say that less money from the fine means more employers are providing coverage than predicted...and that's good news. More on that later this week.

In the meantime, what's your guess, about either the number of employers who don't offer coverage, or the amount of money the penalty will raise?

This program aired on November 18, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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