ERISA Becomes Focal Point in State Health Reform Efforts

By Paulson, Tom | THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 7, 1994 | Go to article overview

ERISA Becomes Focal Point in State Health Reform Efforts


Paulson, Tom, THE JOURNAL RECORD


SEATTLE _ Gregory Vestal had never heard of ERISA, an obscure federal law that will likely determine the success or failure of efforts by states to enact health care reforms.

Vestal, who works for Sears in Tacoma, Wash., only knew that his employer has refused to cover him on the company health benefits plan because he was judged to be overweight.

"I made the mistake of canceling my insurance before I got the company insurance," said Vestal, who is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 275 pounds.

The Washington state Insurance Commissioner's office couldn't help him, he was told, because Sears "self-insures" on health benefits. ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, gives self-insuring companies immunity from state health care regulations.

Vestal's experience is one reason why ERISA has become a focal point in Congress. With federal-level health care reform all but declared dead, the question of granting states greater flexibility to pursue their own reform has taken on new urgency.

Washington, Oregon and more than a dozen other states are pressing Congress to grant them waivers from ERISA in order to implement state health care reform.

"Washington isn't the only state that's going to be in there pushing hard for ERISA waivers," said Rep. Mike Kreidler, D-Wash.

An organized delegation of waiver-seeking state officials, dubbed "States That Can't Wait," also include representatives from Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Idaho, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota and Pennsylvania.

Opponents, including leading business organizations and elected officials from some of the same waiver-seeking states (such as Minnesota Republican Sen. David Durenberger), say waivers will complicate employee benefits management and allow the states to pass along public costs to private companies.

Still, without an ERISA waiver, reform advocates and opponents agree, more employers will be inclined to use the federal law to avoid any new state requirements on health benefits.

Enacted in 1974, ERISA wasn't supposed to have much to do with health care. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

ERISA Becomes Focal Point in State Health Reform Efforts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.