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Sunday, March 12, 2006

More Unfair Targeting

Connecticut is the latest state to join the "Hammer Wal-Mart" craze, passing legislation that would target only them, and Stop-N-Shop to pay for health care benefits for their employees.

Connecticut's bill, though is much tougher, and much more likely to drive folks out of the state than other places. In fact, it's almost guaranteed to place a stop sign at the state line for any large business thinking of moving, or expanding in the state.

A few things to notice as you read the language, it only applies to retailers, no one else. And it's backed by organized labor, which represents little, if any of the retail sector, (but really needs to if it wants to survive in America).

(From the Hartford Courtant, bold my emphasis)
The so-called Fair Share Health Care bill would require Connecticut retailers with more than 5,000 employees in the state to pay at least $2.50 per worker per hour for health insurance. Similar bills backed by organized labor are being proposed in about 30 states this year.

Now, as I've stated many times in the past, I'm not a math major, however, $5,200 per year per employee seemed a little steep to me. So, I did some shopping for health insurance in Connecticut.

What I found, through Insurance Qwest, was that for about 46% of that price ($203/month) I could buy a basic insurance policy for my family of four (2 adults, smokers over 40, and two college students). I found about nine policies for between 60 and 75% of the cost the state wants to charge employers. In fact, only one insurer didn't have multiple policy options for cheaper than that rate.

So what happens if I'm a decent employer, buy insurance for my company, but was smart enough to shop around and get a decent rate? Why I get hammered for the difference anyway, that's what.

What happens if, using this basic formula, I don't meet the cost goal, for whatever reason. For instance, my wife doesn't take health insurance at work, meaning her employer doesn't pay anything for her. Why, Mr. Employer, we don't care the reason, spend the money, or we'll take it anyway.

Now, for the folks in the State legislature in Connecticut, I'd suggest you replace your Husky Plan health care with one of the plans I found at Insurance Qwest, if you are really paying $5200/yr in premiums per family. Golden Rule and Aetna both have a number of policies cheaper than that.

My guess is the AFL-CIO is getting a better rate for insuring their members than $2.50 /hr per worker. Which is probably why they didn't try and get the legislature to cover ALL employers in the state, only retailers. And if they aren't getting a better rate than that, maybe they need to go shopping too!

And for the record, Edelman and Wal-Mart didn't tip me off on this. Instead, I found the information through the blogsite of the AFL-CIO, after they visited mine (I love Site meter).

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Blogger Specter said...

I live in Connecticut and can tell you that it is one of the most business unfriendly states I've ever lived in (and I've lived in quite a few). Many of the major corporations that were based here have moved out. Even the insurance industry is relocating. The government charges all small businesses (LLC level - very few employees) a $250 "business entity tax" every year - just for the privelege of having a business in CT. They don't charge this fee to corporations or partnerships.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is sad because the only logical thing for any retail is to minimize their number of employees and move out as fast as possible. Conneticut and any other state that does this will have high unemployment rates

7:37 AM  
Blogger Gunner said...

Remeber when we were teaching, how the union used the dues we paid. In this case the union would get the 2.50 by the insurance for X and use the delta for their political causes.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Neo, I agree with you, it is sad.

Gunner, luckily I was never involved with the Union there. The way Ct. is working this though the union folks won't be affected, since they aren't entrenched in retailing.

Specter, Like Michigan and other states they'll eventually figure out they can't try and finance everything on the back of business. Business will leave, as it sounds like they are starting to.

8:47 PM  

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