Governor Davis has signed legislation that will make California the largest state to require employers to offer workers health insurance. The bill was signed in Los Angeles yesterday and touted as a model for the rest of the country.
It could give more than 1.1 million workers and their families health insurance through a plan that would mostly be financed by employers.
Hawaii, Washington state and Oregon have similar employee-mandated health insurance systems.
Davis spoke to a crowd of supporters holding “No Recall” signs during the bill signing ceremony at a Kaiser Permanente medical facility. He was joined by the Reverend, Jesse Jackson, actor Danny Glover, labor leaders, health care workers and members of the state Legislature who supported the bill.
The bill requires business firms with more than 200 employees to provide health benefits for workers and their families beginning in 2006. In 2007, smaller companies with 50 to 199 employees will be required to provide employee-only coverage and share costs in the same manner.