Logo, The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care - Health Care Advocacy Group
(518) 462-2296
P.O. Box 1412
Albany, NY 12201

MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION

Bill:     A.11586 ≠ An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to mandating child abuse medical services at child advocacy centers.

The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care, a coalition of nearly 2,100 New York employers and premium payers committed to keeping health care in New York affordable, supports a moratorium on all health insurance mandates.  The high cost of health care in New York continues to climb at two to three times the rate of inflationAccordingly, the Employer Alliance opposes A.11586 because it will further increase the cost of health insurance at a time when the rate of New Yorkπs employer-based health insurance continues to erode.

The impact of increasing health care costs in New York is evident in the stateπs stubbornly high rate of uninsured.  According to the United Hospital Fund, of the more than 3 million New Yorkers with no insurance, 63% work full-time.  This suggests that health insurance affordability is at the root of New Yorkπs stubbornly high rate of uninsured.  New York is facing a crisis that demands legislative initiatives to enhance access to insurance ≠ not more mandates like A.11586 that exacerbate costs and reduce coverage options for employers and employees alike.

Like all mandates A.11586 has costs that will further impact premiums. But perhaps more disconcerting is the bald attempt to off-load costs to private insurance payers, for criminal or family protective services that are more appropriately shared by society.  Merely shifting non-health care related services to a limited and shrinking base of premium payers is not the answer.  It will simply drive the cost of health care higher, increase the number of uninsured, weaken community rating by driving employers to self-insure and undermine economic recovery. 

Today, New York has more than 100 mandated benefit bills under consideration.  However, unlike nearly 25 other states, we have no process to evaluate these proposals for cost or medical efficacy.  Over the next few days, both houses may vote on additional mandates including mental health parity and early intervention (another proposal that seeks to shift public responsibility to private insurance payers).  Cumulatively, if enacted, these bills could account for hundreds of millions in additional premiums annually.  For premium payers already suffering from 10%-20% increases in premium this year, passage of any measure that exacerbates this trend is unconscionable.  We cannot afford this mandate or any other mandate this year.  

For all these reasons, the Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care urges you to vote NO on this legislation.

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Employer Alliance For Affordable Health Care

PO Box 1412

Albany, New York 12201-1412

(518) 462-2296

employeralliance@yahoo.com

www.employeralliance.com

Scott Miller, Chairman

6/2004