The 26th Legislature is trying to pass bill No. 26-0194 making it mandatory for the private sector to either get health insurance for themselves and their employees or be required to purchase health coverage through a "self-funded" plan.
The St. Croix Chamber of Commerce agrees that universal healthcare is a great idea, but this bill is not the solution. Once again the businesses will be shouldering the cost of this "self-funded" plan.
The government estimates that 25,000 working Virgin Islanders are without health insurance. With those current projections, if they are right, the cost to the private sector in one year would be $100 million. We contend that the government's statistics are way off, and that they need to look further into the Medicare and Medicaid systems and concentrate on fixing the existing systems in place first.
Also, we are not in favor of a self-funded plan for many reasons too numerous to mention.
The Chamber has set up an email [email protected] for comment and opinion.
What do you think? Should businesses be required to carry health insurance for themselves and their employees? Do you have ideas or solutions to the problems with health insurance, or lack of health insurance and universal healthcare?
As this is an election year you would think that the senators would listen to the numerous objections from the doctors, insurance industry, medical industry, and private sector and kill this bill.
We need the Chambers' voice to be heard loud and clear! We DO NOT support this bill! The senators need to hear from you. Write them today, call them or stop them in the street and let them know that you do not support this bill.
Editors note:We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to [email protected].