This Week in Government Affairs
September 8, 2014
Please contact our government affairs staff to discuss post-session priorities.
Health Insurance Rates
Last week, the state Department of Financial Services released the approved 2015 health insurance rates, which are half the requested increases. For individual plans, approved rates will go up 5.7 percent, against an average rate increase request of 12.5 percent. For small-group plans, the state’s insurers had collectively requested rate increases of 13.9 percent, but the department approved increases of 6.7 percent.
While The Business Council welcomes health cost reductions for New York’s employers, we believe that it is imperative that these savings reflect actual decreases in the cost of health care rather than an artificial deflation by government fiat. We have called on state policymakers to focus their attention on the cost-drivers in the health care system to control future price increases by eliminating dozens of New York-specific health insurance mandates. The New York State Health Care Quality and Cost Containment Commission (established in statute in 2007) should be empanelled to analyze the impact on health insurance costs of all proposed mandates and to cut HCRA taxes, used to reimburse hospitals for losses related to bad debts and charity care, expenses that should disappear based on expanded insurance and Medicaid coverage under the ACA.
New York’s employers deserve real reform in New York’s health insurance policy, change that would reduce the burden of mandates, taxes and the ever increasing costs of the delivery of health care services.
Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
The Business Council has endorsed three incumbents in tomorrow’s primary election based on their respective records of supporting pro-economic growth measures: Senator Mark Grisanti (60th S.D.), Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (115th A.D.) and Assemblyman William Magee (121st A.D.).
Visit The Business Council’s Political Action Committee (PAC) page for information on upcoming PAC events.
Please note the following additional item of interest:
NYSP2I Grant Program
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute is accepting applications from community organizations, municipal departments and other public sector and non-profit entities under the Community Grants Program. The goal of the program is to support projects that raise awareness and understanding of pollution prevention practices and lead to implementation at the local level. Please click here for more information. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 10.
Common Core Debate
A debate on the Common Core standards will be held at the Kaufman Center in New York City on Tuesday, September 9 from 6:45 – 8:30 p.m. (with a reception from 5:45 – 6:30 p.m.). John Donovan, author and correspondent for ABC news, will moderate a panel that includes Carmel Martin, executive VP of American Progress and Fmr. Assistant Secretary of Education; Michael Petrilli, president of the Fordham Institute of co-editor of Knowledge at the Core; Carol Buris, principal of South Side High School and blogger for the Washington Post’s “Answersheet”; and Frederick Hess, resident scholar and director of Educational Policy Studies at AEI. There are still tickets available. Please contact Tim Roberts at email@example.com for more information.