A California bill to expand health insurance coverage would cost the state's employers $11.4 billion a year, according to a study by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), Washington. The bill, awaiting Gov. Gray Davis' signature, would require all California companies with 50 or more employees to provide health coverage to their workers. The latest estimate of its cost is twice the $5.7 billion cost estimated by the bill's largest opponent, the California Chamber of Commerce, and nearly nine times the $1.3 billion cost projected by supporters, including the California Medical Association. Meanwhile, the CMA questioned the new findings and released poll results showing that 63% of 800 California voters surveyed supported the measure. Davis has not said whether he will sign the bill. Read the EPI report. -- by Laura B. Benko
Group says Calif. health bill to cost $11.4 billion
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