[JURIST] Maryland's solicitor general urged the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] Thursday to overturn a district court decision [PDF text; JURIST report] striking down Maryland's Fair Share Health Care Fund Act [PDF text]. The law would have required companies with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least eight percent of their payroll on employee health care or pay the difference of that amount into the state Medicaid fund. Maryland was the first state to pass such legislation aimed at Wal-Mart [JURIST news archive] and other large employers accused of providing inadequate health care coverage for employees.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) [trade website], a trade association which includes Wal-Mart as a member, filed a challenge to the health care law [JURIST report] early this year, arguing that the law is preempted by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) [text], and that the law violates the equal protection clause of the constitution. RILA asked the federal appeals court Thursday to uphold the district court's grant of summary judgment, saying that states cannot compel the health care expenditure of companies. AP has more.