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Employers, Workers Still Share Costs Of Health Care

On the third anniversary of the state's mandatory health coverage law, a new report says the key principle of shared responsibility for financing the effort remains intact.

The UMass Medical School study finds that health coverage spending increased $4.7 billion from the year before the law passed through 2007.

But the distribution stayed the same with employers paying about half and government and individuals splitting the remainder.

The report's co-author Robert Seifert says the findings may come as a surprise.

"The intuition was that government was paying a lot more because of these new programs and the Masshealth expansion," Seifert explains. "But what we found was that employers were keeping up because their employees were taking up their offers of insurance more often because of the individual mandate."

The mandate also increased costs for individuals overall but no faster, as of 2007, than for government and employers.

This program aired on April 6, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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