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An employer mandate could back-fire

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

Columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. criticized Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) for "her opposition to a strong employer mandate" ("Olympia Snowe in Charge," Oct. 15). His criticism is ill-founded. Such a mandate would lead to massive job losses.

A study released earlier this year by the National Federation of Independent Businesses concluded that an employer mandate would cause the economy to shed 1.6 million jobs within the first five years of implementation.

That makes sense. Forcing firms to provide health insurance to their workers will make the cost of employing someone even higher. Many companies will respond by laying off existing workers or refusing to hire new ones, whom they'd immediately have to cover. Perversely, an employer mandate may actually increase the number of people without health insurance.

JANET TRAUTWEIN
Executive Vice President and CEO
National Association of Health Underwriters
Arlington, Va.

 

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