November 3, 2004

Proposition 72 Barely Defeated

prop72.jpgThe California referendum that would have required large businesses to offer and pay for a large share of a wide range of health care coverage for employees has been defeated by a margin of 50.9% to 49.1%, a difference of 160,000 votes. Arnold got his way.

The California Restaurant Association fought hard against the measure, claiming it would force many restaurants to shut down. The restaurant lobby was joined by other business groups.

On Wednesday, the California Chamber of Commerce applauded the defeat of Proposition 72.

"This healthcare scheme would have cost at least $7 billion the first year alone -- and driven jobs out of California because employers would have had no choice but to shut their doors or move operations out of state because of this scheme," said California Chamber of Commerce President Allan Zaremberg.

Wal-Mart responds to the defeat:
Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) issued the following statement on the defeat of Proposition 72 in California:

"Like the rest of the business community, we are pleased voters rejected
Prop. 72," Wal-Mart spokesperson Cynthia Lin said. "As one of California's
leading employers, we care about the health of our 60,000 employees here.
That's why we provide our employees with affordable, quality health care
coverage. We certainly support the goal of affordable health care for all
Californians. But as businesses, school districts, the Governor and even most
of the major newspapers in California have pointed out, Prop. 72 was not the
right approach."

Lin continued, "Prop. 72 was never about Wal-Mart. It was about allowing businesses to operate without unreasonable government mandates, it was about the survival of small businesses, and it was about consumer choice in health care benefits. California voters agreed, rejecting what would have been an extremely expensive, government-mandated health care plan."

Posted by Kevin on November, 3 2004 at 08:59 PM