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?