"While very well-intentioned, I have concerns with the current bill. Costs are unknown. Initially, startup alone was an estimated $10 million, increasing to $20 million and is now an estimated $50 million. Another $6 million is expected annually to run the system. Overall estimates are reportedly $160 million. In addition to low-confidence cost estimates, there are likely more unrecognized costs, which could impact program participants, businesses and all taxpayers.
"No independent analysis has been conducted to confirm viability and sustainability. Employees only have one opportunity to opt-out, and the process is burdensome. Employees would need to quit to leave a program intended to be an employee benefit. We don’t have a plan if the fund goes bankrupt.
"Let’s be responsible and complete an independent actuarial analysis, gain some confidence in the costs, compromise on an opt-out plan, ensure this will not lead to an income tax and determine a backup plan in the event of insolvency. (Particularly since we’re comparing results of mandatory programs to this voluntary program.)
"Another option to be considered over a government program that relies on taxpayer money is fostering a business climate that allows private businesses to offer this benefit to employees (like many already do). Expanding tax relief for businesses and competition among insurance carriers are potential ways to help make this more affordable. Other solutions are also being discussed, including a potential public-private partnership.
"This issue is a key legislative priority. I’ll work with stakeholders to best represent the people of Dover Ward 1"
Source: Other 2018 http://www.fosters.com/news/20181023/election-2018-childs-challenges-conley-for-...