Logo, The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care - Health Care Advocacy Group

Press Release
June 02, 2006


Editor’s note: Jeff Leland is president of Leland Paper Co. in Glens Falls. He can be reached at (518) 792-0949.

Advocates agree: Mental health proposal will raise costs
Compromise is needed on Mental Health Parity

A statement from Jeff Leland, chair of the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care

ALBANY – Proponents for an unlimited mental health mandate today rallied to show support for bill number A. 2912-A / S. 6735-A - a mandate which they concur will increase the cost of health insurance.

It’s ironic that such an effort would take place during a time when people are focusing their awareness on the working uninsured. The proponent’s legislation is ultimately ineffective in providing parity as the end result will drive up cost and increase the number of New Yorkers who are uninsured.

Right now the greatest concern of small businesses in New York State is the ability to offer affordable health insurance to their employees. Legislation promoted by the parity coalition will force small business owners to shift costs, reduce coverage or drop their insurance altogether. Senator Thomas W. Libous (R-C Binghamton) has offered a reasonable compromise with S.1672, which according to Majority Leader Bruno is supported by 85% of the parity coalition.

Keeping health insurance affordable is the only way to keep New Yorker’s insured. This should be the top priority of our state lawmakers - not adding new mandates.

The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care is a coalition of more than 2,500 employers and individuals from across NYS who are committed to preserving quality affordable health care by opposing costly, and counterproductive, state mandates.