Labor unions concerned about compulsory health care measure

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

A growing number of labor unions have recently expressed opposition to A.B.X. 11, which would require all California residents to purchase health coverage by July 2010.

On Jan. 22, labor leaders representing groups opposed to the bill gathered at a press conference, arguing that it doesn’t sufficiently control how much health plans and insurers can charge for coverage. As a result, the labor leaders argued, low- and moderate-income Californians might face unaffordable premiums.

In addition to requiring all residents to purchase health care, the measure compels individual health insurers to accept all applicants regardless of any pre-existing medical conditions. The bill also would require employers to provide health care coverage to their workers or pay into a state-run purchasing pool to subsidize coverage for low-income earners.

In a statement, the California Labor Federation AFL-CIO, which has lent qualified support to the measure, said it would back the bill if it were amended. Among other concerns, the union complained the bill does not outline what will be included in the minimum health insurance plan that all California families would be required to have.

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