Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has indicated that he will sign a bill offering health coverage for all citizens into a law. He is however expected to make a slight change to one provision, which requires employers who do not offer health insurance to pay $295 per employee.
"It's a very small feature of this bill. It's a very insignificant and unnecessary and, in some respects, counterproductive element of this bill," Romney said. "It applies to a tiny number of employers, and it raises a very small amount of money relative to the scale of this entire proposal. So I don't think it's necessary." Romney, who is a possible Presidential candidate in 2008, can take credit for pushing through the bill in a Democrat-dominated Senate. The bill, which seeks to offer coverage for 550,000 uninsured citizens in the state, is being hailed as a national model. The bill will cost $316 million in the first year and $1 billion in the second year with most of the money coming in the form of federal reimbursements.