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Legislative Memo

518.465.7511

BILL:

S. 7090 (Spano) / A. 10583 (Gottfried, et.al)

Support

SUBJECT:

The health-scare plan of 2006

 

DATE:

April 12, 2006

 

The Business Council of New York State, Inc., strenuously opposes the above-captioned legislation which would create yet another government bureaucracy to offer more subsidized health-care and no solutions, or even attempts at solutions, to control health-care costs.

We repeat what we have been saying for years: New York State cannot make health insurance more affordable by making it more expensive.

Once labeled the “Wal-Mart” bill, we prefer to call it what it is: “A Health Scare Act of 2006”. It is, indeed, scary to believe that Albany's answer to the provision of affordable health-care is to add to health-care costs of employers. Worse yet, this bill would penalize employers who have done the most to control health-care costs. These companies would be forced to pay the difference in what they are paying and the arbitrary $3.00 per hour per employee that this legislation would assess on each covered employer.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Nicholas Spano, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and 80 of his Assembly colleagues, would require all non-manufacturing, non-agricultural businesses in New York, employing more than 100 people, to spend $3 per hour per employee on health benefits or pay the equivalent amount to the state.

Whereas, states like Massachusetts are attempting to introduce levels of personal responsibility into the health-care equations New York's response is more and bigger mandates on employers. Monies collected would be used to provide an undefined level of subsidized health-care coverage to certain employees of employers.

The mandated fee would amount to a $9.2 billion tax on New York employers according to the Employment Policies Institute (EPI).

In addition to assessing billions in new taxes and fees on employers, the legislation would have little to no effect on the current uninsured population in New York. Of the 2.8 million New Yorkers who are uninsured, 2.2 million are unemployed or work for businesses employing less than 100 people, according to the EPI.

The flaws inherent in this six page bill are enough to fill a book. In no particular order, they are:

Comparison between the Massachusetts law and this bill:

Massachusetts

Spano/Gottfried 100 employees working 40 hour weeks with no health insurance

Note that even with this staggeringly high burden on employers, the New York bill would cover only a small fraction of the uninsured B while the Massachusetts bill is intended to cover virtually everyone.

For the above reasons, The Business Council opposes this legislation and other similar bills and we request that they not be approved.


This legislation will be included as one of the scoring measurements of The Business Council's “Vote for Jobs Index 2006”. This is The Business Council's annual assessment of legislator's action on key issues of concern to the state's business community.