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

Press Release
March 08, 2006

Contact 518.462.2296

Assembly's Unlimited Mental Health Mandate:
A Baseless Gesture Certain to Increase Premiums

ALBANY – The Assembly's passage of an unlimited mental health mandate – A.2912/S.6735 – is another "hollow gesture" aimed at silencing mental health advocates, which again fails to provide true "parity" for New York's small business community. There is virtually no chance that it will pass the Senate in its present form.

Passage of A.2912/S.6735 – which if enacted would be the broadest mental health and substance abuse mandate in the nation – blatantly ignores the overwhelming need for affordable health insurance faced by New York's small business owners and sole proprietors.

"New York is experiencing a health insurance crisis. We don't need more of the same. Our state needs a plan that offers true "parity" by setting a level playing field between small businesses and companies that can self-insure," said Jeff Leland, chair of the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care. "The Assembly ignored this need – this time even failing to offer a small business tax credit as they did in the 2004 session," added Leland. “Regardless of your position on this issue, we can all agree that A.2912 will increase health insurance premiums, and that is a reality that New York premium payers can not afford."

A.2912 is the wrong bill at the wrong time. We encourage the Senate to stand strong on its commitment to exclude New York's business community from the burden of costly mandates.

The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care is the largest single-issue grassroots business coalition in New York State. Members are committed to preserving quality, affordable health insurance by opposing costly mandates that contribute to New York's uninsured. For more information, visit www.employeralliance.com.