Health Insurance Bill Would Affect 69 Businesses
Sixty-nine businesses -- including Wal-Mart, Macy's, Target and Sears -- in California would be affected by a proposal to require businesses with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8% of their payroll on health benefits for workers, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Businesses that spend less than 8% would be required to pay the difference to Medi-Cal, under the proposal by Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco). Migden plans to introduce the bill soon, the Mercury News reports.
Opponents of the bill, including Wal-Mart and other businesses, say it would not significantly help the six million uninsured people in California.
Bill Dombrowski, president and CEO of the California Retailers Association, said most uninsured residents work for small businesses that cannot afford health insurance.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has not taken a position on the bill, but the Mercury News reports that he "received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Wal-Mart and its founding family during last year's special election" (Kurtzman, San Jose Mercury News, 2/10).