NEWS ADVISORY

April 11, 2008
PR-08/07
For additional information:
Jason Hammersla:
Office: 202-289-6700
Cell: 202-253-5458


Rep. Boustany, American Benefits Council to brief media on San Francisco
health plan case, implications for ERISA preemption law in advance of
appeals court hearing

WHO: Representative Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA)
Janet Boyd, director of government relations, tax & benefits, Dow Chemical
Martin Reiser, manager, government policy, Xerox Corporation/Chairman, National Coalition on Benefits
Members of American Benefits Council staff
WHAT:

On Tuesday, April 15 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the American Benefits Council will brief the media on issues relating to state and local health initiatives and the implicit threat to established ERISA preemption law. Representative Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA) will provide remarks on the importance of this issue for American employers and their workers.

The city of San Francisco recently passed a Health Care Security Ordinance requiring medium and large businesses to make minimum health care expenditures on behalf of covered workers. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has permitted the San Francisco health care ordinance to go into effect at least until the court could consider an appeal. With the court set to hear oral arguments in the case on Thursday, April 17, this briefing will describe the stakes for employer health plan sponsors and the workers who benefit from these programs. The Council submitted an amicus (friend of the court) brief in the case on March 31.

"We all share the same goal of achieving high-quality, reasonably priced health care for as many people as possible," Council President James A. Klein said. "However, reform efforts that affect employers must build on the established federal framework which preserves uniformity in plan design and administration. A patchwork solution based on numerous state and local initiatives will simply be unmanageable for multi-state employers."

Also joining the Council, to provide the employer plan sponsor perspective, will be Janet Boyd, director of government relations, tax & benefits for Dow Chemical Company, and Martin Reiser, manager, government policy for Xerox Corporation and chairman of the National Coalition on Benefits.

The following materials will be provided at the briefing:

WHERE:

The briefing will be held in-person at the American Benefits Council's offices, 1212 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 1250, Washington DC. Refreshments will be served for those attending in person. Reporters may also attend the briefing via conference call.

To RSVP for the in-person briefing, please click here.

To RSVP for the conference call, please click here.

WHEN: Promptly at 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, April 15, 2008.
CONTACT: To arrange an interview with Council staff on this topic before or after the briefing, please contact Jason Hammersla, Council director of communications, at jhammersla@abcstaff.org or by phone at 202-289-6700 (office) or (202) 253-5458 (cell).

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The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.