Republican lawmakers expressed reservations yesterday about imposing a new business payroll tax to help expand state-subsidized health insurance in the first public hearing on Gov. Ed Rendell's plan to make health care cheaper and more efficient.
State subsidized. Don't you just love that phrase? Makes it seem like it really doesn't cost anything. The STATE will pay for it.
Except where does the state get their money?
From you & me.
Cheaper & more efficient. Government efficiency is an oxymoron.
The administration is calling for a payroll tax on an estimated 100,000-plus employers that do not currently insure their employees. The tax rate would be 3 percent for each of the first three years and would then increase to 3.5 percent in the fourth year.
Tax penalties for employers that do not provide benefits. What could be wrong with that?
Republicans have complained that Rendell's proposal would encourage some employers to drop private insurance coverage if it is cheaper to pay the payroll tax for state-subsidized insurance.
If my current plan is 5% of payroll, and this is 3%, guess which one I will opt for?
Rosemarie B. Greco, the director of the Governor's Office of Health Care Reform, said that was unlikely to happen because employees would have to go without health insurance for six months before they could enroll.
That means 6 months of no insurance premiums followed by a lower cost plan. Some employers might just take them up on that.
In addition, businesses with fewer than 50 workers would be exempt from paying in the first year, she said.
Employers with fewer than 50 employees are usually the ones who do not provide health insurance.
Just another dumb idea from the folks you elected.