Rendell’s health care reform plan sparks tax risk

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Pennsylvanians are more likely than the average American to go to the emergency room for treatment, a problem targeted by Gov. Ed Rendell’s proposed “Prescription for Pennsylvania” reform plan.

The plan includes incentives for health care providers to offer evening and weekend services, creating alternatives to expensive ER visits. It also offers private health coverage access to small businesses and the uninsured, enables nurses and physicians’ assistants to provide maximum care and expands access in rural areas.

Final note: The health care reform plan includes requirements that employers provide health insurance for employees or pay a special tax into a fund. But at least one recent federal appeals court decision casts doubt on the legality of such state assessments. Proposals like this one also face legal hurdles because the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act says employers can create uniform benefit packages for all employees when they operate in more than one state.  

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