Watching the House: “Fair Share Health Care Report”

I honestly don’t know what to make of H 5331–proposed by Representatives Amy Rice, Eileen Naughton, Peter Lewiss, Donna Walsh, and Edith Ajello (Deputy Majority Leader)–which seeks to require that all businesses that employ more than 1,000 people create and submit a “Fair Share Health Care Report.”

On March 30, 2007, and annually thereafter, an employer shall submit on a form and in a manner approved by the director:
(1) The total number of employees of the employer in the state as the last date of the third quarter in the previous calendar year as determined by the employer on an annual basis;
(2) The employer’s definition of full and part-time employee;
(3) The number of employees that are full-time and the number of full-time employees eligible to receive health insurance benefits;
(4) The number of part-time employees and number of part-time employees eligible to receive health insurance benefits;
(5) The amount spent by the employer in the previous calendar year on health insurance costs in the state; and
(6) The percentage of payroll that was spent by the employer in the previous calendar year on health insurance costs in the state.
(b) The director shall adopt regulations that specify the information that an employer shall submit under subsection (a) of this section. The information required shall:
(1) Be designated in a report signed by the principal executive officer or an individual designated by the principal executive officer to perform this function; and
(2) Include an affidavit under penalty or perjury that the information required under paragraph (a) of this subsection was reviewed by the signing officer; and was based on the officer’s knowledge and does not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit a material fact necessary to make the statement made not misleading and is true to the best of the signing officer’s knowledge, information, and belief….

And it goes on and on. It also requires the Director of the Department of Labor and Training (who will administer the program) to report to the General Assembly, Governor and Health Commissioner on all of these facts. It sounds nice and fair….but it also seems rather onerous, too. On the face of it, it looks to me like more bureaucratic red tape for RI business to cut through. Doesn’t look like yet another example of how our Democratic legislators innately distrust business? Instead of reaching for more oversight on a failing system, why don’t these legislators spend some time trying to come up with new ideas?

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17 years ago

“why don’t these legislators spend some time trying to come up with new ideas?”
Marc, the fact that RI is in such bad shape is testament to the fact that these people are all idiots and have absolutely no idea as to how we are going to get ourselves out of the mess that they created. Isn’t this simply stating the obvious?

Marc Comtois
17 years ago

Jim, You’re absolutely correct, yet those same people are still there. So, apparently, the obvious still needs to be stated.
Over and over again.

17 years ago

This information is needed to promote universal health care. Without this information, budgeting becomes a shot in the dark.
You would think that the failure of RiteCare would make legislators move away from state-sponsored health plans and towards increasing competition. It doesn’t seem to be looking that way.

Ragin' Rhode Islander
Ragin' Rhode Islander
17 years ago

It’s also the “Son of the WalMart” bill.
This is an extract of the bill introduced last year, at the behest of the unions (does Amy Rice do anything that isn’t at the behest of the unions?), the “Fair Share” health care bill targeting Wal-Mart.
Variations of it were introduced in multiple states, and passed in Maryland (where it was subsequently shot down in federal court).
Essentially its part of a union “corporate campaign” against Wal-Mart – an union organizing campaign premised on smear campaigns, filing bogus complaints (OSHA, discrimination etc.) and legislation – designed as “the death of a thousand cuts” until the company “cries uncle” and acquiesces to the union coming in without the employees ever get to vote on it in a secret ballot election.
Kind of a reverse mob protection racket – we’re going to put the hurt on your company until you let us in so we can collect dues from your workers.

17 years ago

Wait a minute. No vote? Unions are here to help workers. How does that include forcing themselves on the proletariat?

Benson, Robert
Benson, Robert
17 years ago

Remember Amy Rice got a Common Cause Scorecard score of 43 and Donna Walsh at the SK League of Women Voters said this when asked why RI’s welfare system is the 3rd most expensive in the country, “we just reformed the welfare system.” Maybe these reps plan to reform RI’s health care system too. Put a lock on your wallets!

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