Health Care Reform Should Focus on Employer Mandates
Proposals to overhaul the health care system should emphasize mandates for employers rather than individual requirements, Donald Cohen, president and executive director of the Center on Policy Initiatives, writes in a San Diego Union-Tribune opinion piece. "Any plan that relies primarily on individual mandates to buy insurance is doomed," he writes.
In his health care reform plan, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) calls for employers who do not offer health benefits to pay 4% of their payroll to a state fund to help offer health insurance coverage, a provision that Cohen characterizes as a "huge bailout for employers" that he maintains "could well cause further cost-shifting to individuals."
Cohen calls for all levels of government to encourage employers to offer health benefits, writing that businesses "lose interest in the problem" and "become a major political obstacle" to health care reform when employers are permitted to opt out of the system (Cohen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/17).