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January 16, 2008 > Reining in costs top worry for year two of health care law

Reining in costs top worry for year two of health care law

BOSTON (AP), Jan 06 _ Massachusetts officials are looking at a daunting goal as the state enters the second year of its grand experiment of extending health care coverage to nearly all citizens _ reining in spending.

Spiraling costs could threaten the landmark law, which has thrust Massachusetts to the center of the national debate on health care reform.

Residents who are deemed able to afford health care but refuse are already facing steeper fines in 2008, as much as $912 for individuals who remain uninsured through the end of 2008.

But pressuring individuals to get insured is only part of a multi-pronged attempt to cut health care costs.

The state's insurers, hospitals and lawmakers are also finding themselves under pressure to slow spending, or come up with new revenue.

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