Friday, March 17, 2006

Got Wal-Mart, You're Next

After having passed the Wal-mart bill in January, Maryland has now declared war on every business owner. Story
The bill, sponsored by Delegate James W. Hubbard, D-Prince George's, would force businesses with fewer than 10,000 employees to put at least 4.5 percent of their payrolls toward health benefits for their workers, or pay the difference into the state's Medicaid fund.

One wonders why the legislators can't conceive of the financial burden it would place on business owners, many of which employ less than fifty.
Amy Weaver, president and director of the Daily Discoveries, said that her business, which already provides healthcare to its 40 employees, would be forced to pay an additional $16,000 per year under Hubbard's bill. Imposing another payroll tax would be devastating," she said. "I'm not willing to pay my employees less. Childcare is already an underpaid industry."

The Employment Policies Institute sent out a press release which described what effect the bill would have.
Research from economists at Dartmouth University and the University of Michigan found that healthcare mandates increase labor costs for employers, which they must pass on either to customers in the form of higher prices, or to employees through reduced hours, lowered wages, or other cutbacks in benefits.

One thing is for sure, companies are not going to be willing to come to Maryland. Businesses look for states which are going to help them reduce costs. If this bill passes, Maryland may be looking at losing business. Companies may decide it costs too much and go somewhere else. The people of Maryland had better wake up to what their legislature is doing.

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