1.23.2007

Feds to smack down Schwarzenegger

Remember the Maryland legislature vs. Wal-Mart? A judge ruled, and the Fourth Circuit later upheld, that state health care mandates on employers violate federal ERISA law.

I hadn't thought about this, but the WSJ ($) did: that's a perfect precedent to overrule Governor Schwarzenegger's tax-and-employer-mandate-based health care scheme:
Like the Maryland law, the California plan is explicit on the point, and would require all firms with 10 or more employers to provide health care or pay a 4% tax. This would seem clearly illegal according to the reasoning of the Fourth Circuit, which also said that the ostensibly "voluntary" nature of the Maryland tax was irrelevant from the standpoint of Erisa. No reasonable firm, it said, could be expected to choose to pay money to the state to avoid changing its employee-benefit plan.

Schwarzenegger care: it's not just health care for illegals; it's illegal health care for illegals.

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