Kennedy and Dodd Health Bill Attacks Wages 12 August, 2009Posted by David Anderson in Economic Policy, Healthcare, Jobs.
The Senate HELP committee’s version of Health Care Reform is billed “The Affordable Health Choices Act”. It had better be affordable because if it is implemented it may provide a disincentive to many employers paying higher wages. It gives credits to small employers to help with a mandate of coverage. The problem is that it only covers the micro business side. If you hire 50 people instead of 49 or if you have a lot of high flying sales people and well paid mechanics, you may not want to give a raise to that hard working receptionist. The incentive would be to keep some people with low pay to get the money. I didn’t think that Senate Democrats were so angry at the bottom 50%. Weren’t they suppose help the forgotten middle class? Yet they wonder why we get testy.
To qualify for the credit, employers must have fewer than 50 full-time
employees, pay an average wage of less than $50,000, and must pay at
least 60% of employee health expenses. The credit is equal to $1,000
for each employee with single coverage and $2,000 for each employee
with family coverage, adjusted for firm size (phasing out as firm size
increases) and number of months of coverage provided. Bonus payments
are given for each additional 10% of employee health expenses above
60% paid by the employer. Employers may not receive the credit for more
than three consecutive years. Self-employed individuals who do not
receive premium credits for purchasing coverage through the Gateway
are eligible for the credit.
Require employers to offer health coverage to their employees and
contribute at least 60% of the premium cost or pay $750 for each
uninsured full-time employee and $375 for each uninsured part-time
employee who is not offered coverage. For employers subject to the
assessment, the first 25 workers are exempted.