Editor's note - AIM delivered the following letter from CEO Richard C. Lord to Governor Charles D. Baker this afternoon.
Dear Governor Baker:
On behalf of the 4,000 employers of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), we strongly urge you to send back to the Legislature the employer health-care assessment provisions contained in the Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget, along with a recommended amendment that includes the reforms agreed to by AIM, your administration and other interested parties.
The FY18 budget now on your desk would require employers to cover the $200 million financial shortfall in the MassHealth program while omitting the long-term structural reforms essential to addressing health-care cost imbalances in both the commercial and public insurance markets.
The result is that employers – who already struggle with the rising cost of providing health insurance to their employees – will also be forced to assume the responsibility for funding an unsustainable MassHealth program.
The assessment comes at a time when Massachusetts employers have almost nothing to show in the way of cost savings and efficiencies four years after the state’s cost-containment law took effect. In the three years that the state has been measuring the year-over-year growth in health care expenditures, we have exceeded the cost control benchmark twice.
Massachusetts employers are proud to lead the nation in providing health care coverage to employees. Sixty-five percent of Bay State companies offer health insurance coverage compared with 56 percent of employers nationwide. A full 100 percent of Massachusetts employers with 200 or more employees offer coverage.
In 2006, employers joined with doctors, hospitals, patient advocates, and lawmakers to forge a health-reform law that required everyone to share the responsibility for improving access to health care. We ask you to insist that same sense of shared responsibility be applied now to solve the MassHealth shortfall by returning the employer-assessment provisions to the General Court and insisting that the comprehensive compromise forged by the business community and your administration be included in the final budget.
Thank you for considering AIM’s position. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly at 617-262-1180.
Richard C. Lord, President & CEO
Associated Industries of Massachusetts