Initiative #92 – Employer Responsibility for Health Insurance

StaffScapes review of the devastating labor initiatives on the November Ballot.

Initiative #92 would “Require every private employer with 20 or more employees to provide health insurance for both employees and their dependents.” The initiative also requires employers to pay at least 80 percent of the employee only premiums and 70 percent of dependent premium coverage. Employers who do not comply with providing the insurance would have to then pay into a newly established state authority.

Listed below is the potential impact of initiative #92:

Ø      Current federal law generally prohibits mandating or requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage.

Ø      The majority of Colorado employers currently offer health insurance to their employees, mandating employer contributions will not improve the uninsured problems.

Ø      Initiative 92 will create a massive government run agency to implement the system and provide coverage for those whose employers do not comply.

Ø      Businesses will be hindered by additional financial burdens, resulting in higher costs to do business, lost jobs and increases in the price for goods and services.

Ø      Puts the responsibility of defining what a “major medical” plan is, and how to fund the new government agency in the hands of the legislature.

Ø      Initiative 92 creates reasons for employers to terminate full time employees and replace them with part-timers; also gives employers reason to discriminate against hiring employees with dependents.

Should state laws restrict business growth and mandate benefit offerings, removing the ability to balance needs of employees while meeting financial budgeting? Should employees be laid off and replaced with part-time employees? Do you want employers to focus on how many dependents and applicant has instead of experience and education? Do you want a new government super-agency deciding medical plan designs and funding? Has government run medical care ever been successful?

If the organized labor initiatives are successfully passed this November, our state’s economic growth will be dramatically stunted for years to come. Please check past and future editions of our blog to view the other initiatives that can have a devastating impact to Colorado.

Sources: Tomlinson & Associates; Economic Development Council of Colorado