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The two main health care reform bills that Con­gress is currently debating each include some form of "play-or-pay" employer mandate: America's Afford­able Health Choices Act of 2009 (H. 3200)[1] and the Affordable Health Choices Act.[2] The House "Blue-Dog compromise," a version of H. 3200, also includes a play-or-pay employer mandate.[3] The play-or-pay mandates in these bills, which require employers to offer health insurance to their employees or pay a tax to the federal government, will affect between 95 million and 105 million work­ers, and 509,000 to 1.4 million employers, including up to 1 million small businesses.[4] The mandates will cost businesses at least $49 billion per year and put 5.2 million low-wage workers at risk of unemploy­ment or reduced working hours. 3200 will result in a net increase of 3 million workers with employment-based health insurance (1.7 percent), according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the mandate will cause 9 million mostly low-wage and part-time workers to lose their employment-based health insurance.[7] Economic research also shows that mandating employee health insurance will discourage some people from working more hours by reducing their real hourly wage rate.[8] The House and Senate Employer Mandates Although the final details of the employer man­date are not yet available, under H. 3200, the play-or-pay mandate would require the following: Under the House Blue-Dog compro­mise the exemption to the play-or-pay mandate covers 592,000 more small businesses than under H. Small businesses with less than $500,000 in annual pay­roll are not subject to the play-or-pay mandate. 3200, approximately 1.4 million businesses with 104.6 million wage and salary employees would be covered by the play-or-pay mandate.

The prospect of fewer job opportunities in the future will put another 10.2 million workers at risk of slower wage growth and cuts in other benefits.[5] Up to 382,000 low-wage unskilled workers are likely to lose their jobs.[6] Fur­ther, some of the cost of the mandates will be passed on to American consumers in higher prices for goods and services--an indirect tax on savers and those with fixed incomes. Under the Senate Health, Educa­tion, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee bill, the play-or-pay man­date would require: Who Is Covered by the Mandates? (See Table 1.) Under the "Blue-Dog" com­promise, approximately 784,000 businesses with 97.4 million employees would be covered by their play-or-pay mandate. 3200, 63.8 million workers in cov­ered firms already have employer-based health insurance in their own name, and 16.7 million are dependents with employer-based health insurance under another worker's plan.[9] (See Table 2.) Signif­icantly, it is not clear how the employer mandate will affect the 7.3 million multiple jobholders.[10] For example, will both employers have to offer health insurance to these workers?

A proposal by Nevada’s freshman Democratic senator, Catherine Cortez Masto, could mimic efforts in corporate America.

Large companies across the country, particularly those in Silicon Valley, have been under intense pressure to hire more minorities.

The reason is quite simple: the sunk costs that can give rise to “bottleneck monopolies” in other infrastructure industries are largely absent from postal networks.

Not only are the benefits of mandating access limited in postal markets, the prevalence of nation-wide averaged prices means that the granting of access may facilitate wasteful, cream-skimming entry.

Recent liberalization of the markets of traditional public utilities has moved this issue to the forefront of regulatory policy as well.

This policy tool is of only limited usefulness in the case of postal markets.

The compromise would require: Employers with 0,000 or more in annual payroll must offer their employees health insurance or pay 8 percent of each worker's wages into a Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund.

Under the HELP Committee bill, approximately 509,000 businesses with 95.4 million employees would be covered by their play-or-pay mandate. Under the Senate HELP Committee bill, 60.9 million workers in covered firms already have employer-based health insurance in their own name, and 14.5 million are dependents with employer-based health insurance under another worker's plan.

“You just have to walk in the room and look at the Senators that are there — the 100 Senators, right?

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