Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another Fair Share Law Bites ERISA Preemption Dust

Suffolkcountyny It is not surprising in light of the demise of the Walmart Bill (aka the Maryland Fair Share Health Care Bill) that other efforts by municipalities to make employers pay a higher share of their employees' health care costs would probably also suffer the same ERISA preemption fate.

And that's exactly how things turned out in New York (from Roy Harmon at Health Plan Law blog):

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York handed down another victory for the Retail Industry Leaders Association. In this decision, filed July 14, 2007, the district court ruled that ERISA preempted the Suffolk County, New York Fair Share Act. The reasoning of the opinion essentially follows that in Retail Industry Leaders Association v. Fielder, — F.3d —-, 2007 WL 102157, C.A.4 (Md.) (January 17, 2007).

The case is RILA v. Suffolk County, 06-531 (E.D.N.Y. July 14, 2007).

I am now more interested to see if the Massachusetts universal health care plan suffers the same fate.  The best thing going for that law is that apparently RILA doesn't believe it causes the same harm to its members as the Maryland and Suffolk County law and has not yet challenged it on ERISA preemtion grounds.


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