Last week I had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of employees at UnitedHealthCare in Ulster County.
UnitedHealthCare is the largest private sector employer in the County. Beyond their corporate issues, the employees had the same message over and over again: they were concerned about being taxed out of New York. They were concerned that not only are businesses leaving New York but that they and their children will not be able to stay here.
We discussed a number of important issues:
1. Reducing taxes. They were pleased that I was continuing the fight for property tax reform. They were concerned to hear that although the Senate passed property tax reform three years in a row when it was controlled by Republicans, that the Assembly has failed to take up property tax reform measures.
2. Crime. We talked about the recent effort of Governor Paterson and the Assembly and Senate Democrats to allow convicted drug dealers to teach in our schools. Like me, they have children or grandchildren in our public school system. The new State law allowing convictions to be hidden even for schools, nursing homes and hospitals really alarmed people.
3. Naturally they were concerned with the high cost of health insurance. The Senate Republican conference has advocated for Freedom Policies. These plans would allow small businesses to provide basic health insurance for their employees.
The reality is all employers would like to provide the "Cadillac" of health insurance plans to employees, but even if some form of insurance is provided, it is better than none. The Senate Republican plan allows for primary care service to be covered by insurance for those currently uninsured. It should be adopted.