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

Press Release
Feb. 12, 2008

Contact Jeff Leland
(518) 792-0949

Employer Alliance: Spitzer Budget Amendments Strike Another Blow to Small Business
Statement from Jeff Leland, chair, Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care - 02/12/08 

“After hitting small businesses in the pocketbook with his 2008-2009 budget plan unveiled last month, Governor Spitzer this week amended his spending plan in such a way that will make it even harder for business to afford health insurance coverage for our employees.

“The proposed increase in the Covered Lives Assessment — a surcharge paid on every health insurance policy — went from $140 million to $190 million. 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. It doesn’t make sense for Governor Spitzer, who has called for expanding health insurance coverage to all New Yorkers, to make it harder for business to offer coverage at all.”

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.