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Thanks for this, eRobin. I'll pass along this info to candidates in my MD district.

I continue to marvel at everyone -- the judge, well-meaning candidates, the Brennan Center for Justice -- missing the point about the Fair Share Health Care bill, though. The Brennan Center brief states: The trial court found that the Maryland law was preempted by ERISA because it effectively forced covered employers to modify their health benefits offerings in order to comply with the law.

No, it did not force or "effectively" force employers to do any such thing. It encouraged that, but it did not require it. Employers had (or will have, if the RILA v. Fielder ruling) is overturned, the perfect and attractive right to pay the shortage into a state Medicaid fund instead of increasing health benefits. That is a choice, not a requirement; Wal-Mart could keep its (pathetic) national health benefits package untouched, and spend 20 seconds cutting a check to the state Medicaid fund; advantage: simplicity. Or it can increase health benefits; advantage: attracting/keeping workers.

I see nothing so far in ERISA preventing states from providing incentives to improve health plans. If it does, then it's a stupid law. If it doesn't, Judge Motz is a stupid judge.

"Employers" meaning MD employers with over 10,000 employees, that is. And "the shortage" means the amount of health benefits short of 8% of payroll.

I keep forgetting not everyone follows the Fair Share issue obsessively.

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