Maryland Get Its Fair Share
It was featured among the "Best of Public Policy 2005" in DMI's recent Year in Review (download the pdf and see page 4) and as of yesterday, it's the law of the land in Maryland: big employers must contribute to their employees' health care costs.
"Big" in this case means over 10,000 employees in the state of Maryland, and at this point it's only Wal-Mart that's reached that size without already being a responsible enough employer to provide affordable health benefits. But this shouldn't just be seen as an anti-Wal-Mart law. It's an all-too-rare example of our democratically elected representatives (like my newest heroine, Maryland State Senator Gloria Lawlah) taking a stand on principle against business practices that stuff corporate pockets at the expense of ailing employees, their families, and the public who must ultimately pick up the health care tab when companies won't.
Maryland's fair share health care idea is already catching on across the country. In October, I blogged about New York City's response. Now more than 30 other states and municipalities are considering similar legislation.