Opposition to Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage Law Examined
The Los Angeles Times on Friday examined the claims of some opponents of SB 2, a state law that will require some employers to provide health insurance to employees or pay into a state fund to provide such coverage, that requiring employers to pay for health insurance would "worsen the state's already bad business environment" -- although they are not opposed to insuring their workers (Stewart, Los Angeles Times, 10/29).
SB 2 will require employers with 200 or more employees to provide health insurance to workers and their dependents by 2006 or pay into the state fund. Employers with 50 to 199 employees will have to provide health insurance to workers by 2007.
Companies with fewer than 20 workers will not have to comply with the law, and the law also will exempt employers with 20 to 49 workers unless the state provides them with tax credits to offset the cost of health coverage.
Proposition 72, an initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot, asks voters to vote "yes" to uphold or "no" to repeal SB 2, which is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2006 (California Healthline, 10/28).
Those who support SB 2 say it would increase the number of people who have access to care as health care facilities have closed across the state and emergency departments have been treating more uninsured and underinsured patients.
Employers who oppose the law say they already "walk a tightrope between the dictates of good business and the dictates of state government" without additional mandates, according to the Times.
Opposition to SB 2 has "brought together an odd mix of interests that otherwise might never meet on common ground," such as theater operators, pest control workers, restaurant owners, school districts and chambers of commerce (Los Angeles Times, 10/29).
KPCC's "KPCC News" on Tuesday interviewed voters in Glendale, Atwater Village and Leimert Park about Proposition 72 (Rabe, "KPCC News," KPCC, 10/26). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
Additional information on Proposition 72 is available online.