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Dangers in Mandating Medical Coverage

September 24, 2003

As a business owner of a company that manufactures large machinery, I must respond to Hyman Milstein's Sept. 18 letter on SB 2, the bill requiring health coverage for employees of small businesses. Milstein seems to think that California employers compete against other California employers only for sales to their customers. Well, since he is a doctor, I'm sure that is true in his case, but my company must compete against those that are in other states and countries whose environment of employing people, obtaining workers' compensation, regulation and taxation is kept as painless as possible.

I provide health insurance to my employees even though the premiums are high; I keep costs in check by having many carriers compete against one another to obtain the best price. I fear that if the state makes health coverage mandatory the insurance companies will raise rates further -- because they know you have to have it.

Todd Dice

Rancho Cucamonga

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Re "Good News Is, They're Gone," editorial, Sept. 17: I couldn't agree more. You've got it right: Gov. Gray Davis should veto SB 2. We shouldn't rush on a massive expansion of health care. No more stealth legislation! SB 2 will affect every Californian and deserves plenty of public scrutiny. This bill is going to drive businesses out of California. This is not the time for huge new mandates. SB 2 is too much of a burden for small businesses, which are already choking on workers' compensation bills.

Glenis Batley

Burbank

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