From: Scott Hauge
On Behalf Of: Small Business California
Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2006 7:34 AM
Subject: FLASH: All Major Indicators Keep Tumbling, Bureau Reports
Please see update on workers compensation. All good news.
Yesterday, I met Speaker Nunez's people and Senator Perata's people on the health insurance issue.They are very interested in getting the views of small business and will continue to discuss with us proposals as they move forward. As I have said the Speaker has a spot bill AB 8, which will be his vehicle for addressing the issue. This bill has no specifics at this time.
Senator Perata has a Shared responsibility bill which would require individuals to purchase insurance for themselves and their dependents and employers will also be asked to contribute. A purchasing pool called the "Connector" would be set up by The Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board. It would take advantage of Federal funding opportunities. Employers of course would be able to continue their own group coverage to cover their employees, but if they don't there would be some as yet undetermined cost they would have to pay for each employee.
It is estimated that 4.2 million of the currently uninsured would get coverage under this proposal. I emphasized the importance of cost containment to small business and the fears we have of anything moving forward that will place a severe burden on small business.
What are your thoughts on this? What is the message you would like me to send to the Governor, Speaker Nunez and Senator Perata? At this point Small Business California does not have a position on any bills and won't until more details are put forward. Senator Perata is to be applauded for putting something forth that the Governor can work with, but the devil is always in the details.
If you would like a more complete summary of the proposal let me know and I will send it to you.