Massachusetts has fined more than a thousand companies over $18 million for failing to offer insurance to their workers.
That's a small fraction of what some business owners fear could happen on a national scale if President Obama signs a sweeping health care overhaul.
The fines are for violating Massachusetts' landmark 2006 health care law requiring larger companies to offer insurance or pay an annual fine of $295 per full-time employee.
Federal legislation would hit non-complying employers having more than 50 workers with a $2,000-per-employee fee if the government subsidizes their workers' coverage.
The Massachusetts law added more than 400,000 residents to insurance rolls — bringing the state total to 97 percent of all residents.
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