Fair Share Health Care Act

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Maryland Senate Bill 790, known as the Fair Share Health Care Act, also nicknamed the "Wal-Mart Bill", was a legislative act passed in the state of Maryland in 2005. The act would have required for-profit employers with more than 10,000 workers in the state of Maryland to spend at least 8% of their payroll on employee health benefits or make a contribution to the state's insurance program for the poor. Non-profit employers were required to do the same, but with a lower, 6% benchmark.

The Maryland legislature initially passed the bill on April 5, 2005.[1] Though its supporters contended that it did not single out Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart was the only private, for-profit employer in the state that would have been affected.[2]

The bill was vetoed by then-Governor Robert L. Ehrlich[3] On January 12, 2006, the Senate decided to override Ehrlich's veto, thereby passing the act into law.[4][2]

On July 18, 2006, federal judge J. Frederick Motz struck down the law as preempted by ERISA. On January 17, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the decision.[5]

Similar measures

While the Maryland bill drew the most national media attention, similar measures were considered in other states but also failed.

In February 2006, a version of the bill that would have required companies with 5,000 or more employees to spend 9% of their payroll on health care benefits was defeated in Washington.[6]

In June of the same year, a similar bill was vetoed by the governor of Colorado.[7]

External links


  1. Wagner, John; Barbaro, Michael (April 6, 2005). "Md. Passes Rules on Wal-Mart Insurance". The Washington Post. p. A01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Coulter, Michael (March 1, 2006). "Md. Enacts 'Wal-Mart' Bill". The Heartland Institute.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Armour, Stephanie (January 13, 2006). "Maryland first to OK 'Wal-Mart bill'". USA Today.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Wagner, John (January 13, 2006). "Md. Legislature Overrides Veto on Wal-Mart Bill". The Washington Post.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Barbaro, Michael (January 18, 2007). "Appeals Court Rules for Wal-Mart in Maryland Health Care Case". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Thomas, Ralph (February 15, 2006). "Wal-Mart bill likely dead; unions upset with Chopp". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on April 26, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Fong, Tillie (June 3, 2006). "'Wal-Mart', after-school bills vetoed by Gov. Owens". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on June 14, 2006.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>