Massachusetts is largely shielded from a key provision of the sweeping tax bill approved by Congress on Wednesday, a measure that guts the requirement that Americans obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.
This state has its own mandate that individuals sign up for insurance, which went into effect a decade ago. That rule remains in effect, state officials, health care advocates, and insurers stressed Wednesday — three days before the deadline for individuals in Massachusetts to obtain coverage for Jan. 1.
“The repeal of the individual mandate is a back-door way to decimate the Affordable Care Act,’’ said Amy Rosenthal, executive director of the Boston advocacy group Health Care For All. “Fortunately, Massachusetts will be protected in many ways because we have an individual mandate in our state and have for many years.’’