8.06.2004

Corporate freeloaders Boston.com (8/6)

We have a list of deadbeat dads. We have a registry of sex offenders, which we now post on the Internet. Coming soon: a list of Massachusetts' corporate freeloaders. This could be good reading.

With no fanfare and over the veto of Governor Mitt Romney, the Massachusetts Legislature last month became the first in the nation to require the Commonwealth to compile an annual list of which companies' employees and their dependents use state health benefits the most, and what it costs taxpayers. The requirement, included in the state budget, applies to employers with more than 50 workers.

Hilarious. Simply Hilarious.
American medicine is the best in the world, but paying for it is a constant game of pass the buck. Increasingly, the private sector is passing the buck to the public sector. In 2001, about 67 percent of Americans under age 65 got their healthcare coverage through their employer, according to the Center for Studying Health Care System Change. By 2003, that number had fallen dramatically to 63 percent. Meanwhile, those under 65 getting government coverage increased to 12 percent from 9 percent. People still went to the doctor; the difference was who paid.

In Massachusetts, healthcare is the biggest, fastest-growing piece of the $24 billion state budget. So the Legislature is dead right to ask which companies aren't providing coverage to their employees, and at what cost. "Having clear information on the extent to which healthy, financially robust employers have significant parts of their workforce using publicly sponsored health insurance programs is important," says John McDonough, executive director of Health Care for All.

Uh oh, I can tell you that 'The Man' isn't going to like this one bit. "Gay Marriage" is one thing, but you can be sure The Man has some 'activist judges' of his own and they will be sent out to put a stop to this nonsense.

Please encourage your State Reps to do the same.

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