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

Press Release
March. 11, 2008

Contact Jeff Leland
(518) 792-0949

Employer Alliance: Budget Amendments Strike Another Blow to Small Business
Statement from Jeff Leland, chair, Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care - 03/11/08 

“After hitting small businesses in the pocketbook with an 2008-2009 Executive Budget plan unveiled last month, the Assembly this week unveiled its own spending plan that maintain the many onerous health care provisions that will make it even harder for business to afford health insurance coverage for our employees.

“Most troublesome is a proposed $190 million increase in the Covered Lives Assessment — a surcharge paid on every health insurance policy. This is a 22% increase over the current funding level and puts the total covered lives tab at more than $1 billion.

“This ‘assessment’ is a tax on the premiums we pay for health insurance with none of that money going to add to the benefits or services of the coverage. The irony of the covered lives tax is that it could result in some businesses and their employees losing coverage altogether by ultimately making the cost of health care unaffordable.

“Many small and medium sized businesses in New York are already struggling to provide health insurance coverage. At a time when New York is looking to expand health insurance coverage to all New Yorkers, it doesn’t make sense to impose taxes that make it harder for business to offer coverage at all.”

“The Senate has said it will not support new taxes or tax increases in this year’s budget, and we applaud them for that. We hope all New York lawmakers will work together to make health care more affordable and more accessible.”

The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care is the largest single-issue grassroots business coalition in New York State - 3,400 small business owners and sole proprietors representing more than 200,000 working New Yorkers. To learn more, visit our website at www.employeralliance.com.