Some employers are already beyond the 7.% proposed increase with their present offerings..BD
SACRAMENTO — Escalating the already tense fight about what financial burden businesses should bear, the Democrats who control the Legislature proposed Tuesday that most California employers be required to spend the equivalent of at least 7.5% of their payrolls on healthcare — nearly twice the amount Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed.
The mandate on employers would raise more than $5 billion and — along with federal taxpayer money and worker contributions — allow California to extend insurance to about 69% of the 4.9 million people who lack it at any given moment. Among states, only Hawaii has a significant employer mandate. But the Democratic proposals in California would go further by including dependent coverage and more part-time workers.
There are 233,000 firms that spend less than 7.5%; they employ 4.5 million workers. An additional 327,000 firms make no contribution; they employ 1.5 million workers.