SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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October 31, 2013

Obama speech, Sox World Series bid grip Boston

(Continued)

“The website was a constant work in process over the first few years,” Patrick said before introducing the president.

While many local supporters of the law cheered Obama, not everyone is pleased with the Massachusetts law.

In the years since it was approved, thousands of taxpayers have opted not to get insurance and pay the penalty instead. The state has so far collected over $115 million in penalties.

Not everyone in the state is thrilled with aspects of the federal law, either.

Jon Hurst, president of the Massachusetts Retailers Association, said small businesses in the state are disappointed that the Obama administration hasn’t granted the state a waiver from a new ratings system that he said will force business owners to pay significantly more to insure workers.

“The result will likely be lost jobs, and less healthy people working on our main streets across Massachusetts,” he said.

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