Friday, October 14, 2005

Daily News Weighs in on HCSA

The Daily News comments editorially today on the recently passed Health Care Securiy Act (HSCA). The paper cites objections from some of the city's supermarket owners. We're wondering, however, where the paper got its statistics from since it claims that only 300 of New York's markets are unionized and provide the requisite health care benefits to its employees. The rest, it says, "employ about 6,000 workers..."

Where exactly do these numbers come from? The News could have at least footnoted the citation so someone could have attempted verification. The fact is that the Council has been trying to gather data to do just that but certain members of the industry would rather pout than negotiate. There may very well be issues here that can and should be addressed. However, they can't be if store reps don't provide the legitimate info.

We are working with the bill's sponsor to see if we can make some adjustment to the thresholds in the legislation. The raising of the bill's thresholds does not mean, as the News alleges, that the bill will then accomplish nothing.

There are a number of well-known mega employers who feel that it is beyond their considerable means to provide workers with adequate health benefits. I think that they got the message even if the News hasn't. It is high time that the tax payers be given a break from subsidizing the health care costs of multi-billion dollar companies. As the News knows, this is the target, not struggling independent store owners.