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Health Insurance

July 30, 1989

The California Chamber of Commerce is very concerned about the issue of providing health insurance to the over 5.2 million uninsured Californians.

In your editorial ("Deukmejian Gets on Board," July 17) you singled out the chamber (specifically) and the business community (in general) for negativism on this issue and being absent from consultations and negotiations with the Health Access Foundation.

While your editorial accurately described the two major pieces of legislation on this topic--AB 350 by Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, which would mandate employer-funded health insurance, and AB 328 by Assemblyman Burt Margolin, which would create a state insurance plan--you forgot to mention the major impact these solutions will have on small business.

Small business has been the fuel that has kept the engines of California's economy moving during the 1980s, by creating nearly 3 million new jobs.

Since the Speaker's bill, AB 350, cannot take effect until 1993 due to federal preemption problems, why enact this measure now before knowing the economic impact?

We have been active in negotiations and we will continue to seek solutions to this problem that are affordable by small employers.

KIRK WEST

President

California Chamber of Commerce

Sacramento

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