Health Care Costs
Lessons can be learned from California's employer health mandate -- which was approved by the Legislature in 2003 and repealed by voters in 2004 -- and certain changes could have made the mandate more effective, according to a paper in California Economic Policy. The mandate would have required employers either to provide health coverage to employees or pay a fee to the state to provide it.
For future employer mandates, the report -- by Aaron Yelowitz, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky and a joint faculty member in the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration -- suggests:
- Scaling back employers' contributions to premiums for family coverage;
- Lowering the costs of the baseline health plan employers must offer workers;
- Considering other legislative actions besides employer mandates to establish universal health coverage; and
- Recognizing the possible loss of federal funding as workers move from public health insurance programs such as Medicaid into private health plans (Yelowitz, California Economic Policy, October 2006).