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Day 9 of 45: Floor Debate

February 1, 2012

Today, I presented my first bill, SB 138 on the Senate floor. I couldn’t have picked a harder, more complicated topic if I had tried. Notwithstanding that, I got it passed on the second reading calendar on a 21-8 vote. Someone on the Senate staff commented that it was the most lively debate so far of the session. And I agreed.

During the afternoon, I got my second bill, SB 142, out of committee. SB 142 dissolves a traffic management committee that has fulfilled its purpose. Later in the evening, I was a guest on KNUV radio and got a chance to explain SB 138. Here are some of my talking points:

•SB 138 creates fiscal notes by applying new health care mandates to ALL state employees

•Any healthcare mandate enacted in 2012 is very likely to be “grandfathered in” by ObamaCare

•12+ new mandate bills have been filed this session, and each of them will increase insurance premiums

•Insurance companies do not absorb the increased costs of mandates – they pass them along

•Healthcare mandates hurt small businesses, as they do not apply to self-funded plans (under ERISA)

•Additional healthcare mandates will force some small businesses to drop benefits for all employees

•SB 138 also holds public and higher Ed budgets harmless from the increased cost of mandates

•SB 138 will NOT prevent HB 69 from being heard

•If both SB 138 and HB 69 pass, a lot more people in Utah will be eligible for autism coverage

•Why create an incentive for teachers to quit?

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