Fine Companies That Pay Low Wages, Avoid Healthcare Coverage, Democrats Say

Democratic state lawmakers in Colorado say they plan to introduce legislation that would fine large corporations that pay low wages and do not pay workers’ health care costs.

Supporters of the measure say tens of thousands of Coloradans work for corporate giants, but earn less than $12 an hour. They argue these companies avoid providing health insurance for workers, relying on the state to provide coverage through Medicaid.

"The problem is not that these families aren’t working hard enough," said Tim Hoover, spokesman for the Colorado Fiscal Institute, a left-leaning advocacy group that supports the bill. "The problem is that large corporations have constructed business models in which they pay their workers peanuts and then export the cost of providing employees’ health care to taxpayers.”

The bill assesses fees on these corporations and sets up a fund that helps offset the state’s healthcare costs.

Republicans are already speaking out against the legislation. House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso says it’s unclear how the bill helps entry-level workers.