FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 05, 2009
Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
I was surprised and disappointed by the news that Governor Paterson will seek to make Timothy’s Law, legislation requiring parity for mental health insurance coverage, permanent.
In addition to the mental health coverage, the law required a study of the impact of the new mandate – both on the effectiveness of the mental health benefits and the cost of the expanded coverage. There was enough concern about the cost impact – particularly on small businesses that are already struggling to afford health insurance coverage for their employees – that the mandate included $100 million in annual subsidies for businesses with fewer than 50 employees that might struggle with the increased insurance cost. The study, which was released only today and was more than a month late, shows the cost impact exceeds the $100 million set aside to subsidize to small business.
More so I am disappointed that New York’s Health Care Quality and Cost Containment Commission cannot evaluate the mental health parity law. This commission, an independent panel, is supposed to review health care mandates to help hold down costs. The commission that was created two years ago has yet to meet or even have all its members appointed.
Just last week Governor Paterson issued an executive order against “unfunded mandates,” requiring state agencies to evaluate the impact of proposed legislation on local governments. He should have the same standard for health care mandates that impact the cost of coverage for businesses.
Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care
The Employer Alliance for Affordable Health Care is a coalition of more than 3,400 employers and individuals from across New York, representing more than 200,000 working New Yorkers, committed to preserving quality affordable health care.