Michigan Chamber of Commerce Opposes Payroll Tax For Health Care

The following statement was issued today by Wendy Hofmeyer, director of health policy and human resources for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, in response to a series of press conferences held by Senate Democrats on legislation to impose a payroll tax as part of a "play or pay" financing system to force companies to provide health-care coverage:

"The Michigan Chamber opposes legislation to establish a new payroll tax and the establishment of a government health care system that would require employers to allocate a specific amount of their payroll to purchasing health care or pay a payroll tax.

"It doesn't matter whether this proposal impacts job providers with 10 employees or those with 10,000 employees. Imposing a job-killing tax on employers does nothing to solve the problem of rapidly rising health care costs. Rather, it sends a chilling anti-business message to Michigan job providers and puts us on the fast track to becoming the first state to mandate that all employers provide health insurance to their employees.

"This proposal shows how out of touch Senate Democrats are with the economic challenges facing Michigan's business community. With Michigan's unemployment rate among the highest in the country, we need every employer, every competitive advantage and every job we can get. Michigan employers need across-the-board tax relief, not a major new tax.

"Senate Democrats should reconsider their position on this legislation, especially if they are sincere in their quest to help Michigan employers provide quality health plans for their workers, encouraging job growth and making Michigan an even friendlier place to do business."

The Michigan Chamber is a statewide business organization which represents more than 6,800 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. The Michigan Chamber was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan's job providers in the legislative, political and legal process.

SOURCE: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

CONTACT: Wendy Hofmeyer of Michigan Chamber of Commerce,

Web site: http://www.michamber.com/