For immediate release
January 4, 2005
312-663-4373 x247 or (cell) 312-802-2302
Casino Tax Would Provide Funding for Medicaid and Hoosier Healthwise
INDIANAPOLIS-(BUSINESS WIRE)-Jan. 4, 2005–UNITE HERE Local 1: What: “Fair Share for Health Care” bill press conference and lobby day Who: Riverboat Workers, Rep. Cheney and Rep. Kersey. Where: Statehouse Room 336, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis When: Wednesday, January 5 at 12 p.m.
Northwest Indiana riverboat casino workers will begin lobbying for a bill that would provide additional funding for state-sponsored health care programs Medicaid and Hoosier Healthwise. The bill would increase casino admission taxes by $2 per person, and the additional money would be directed into the state health care funds. Any riverboat that provides affordable family health insurance to its full-time employees and their families would be exempt from the additional tax.
“There’s no reason that Indiana taxpayers should be paying the health care bills of full-time riverboat workers,” says Lisa Taylor, a housekeeper at Harrah’s East Chicago casino who has enrolled her son on Hoosier Healthwise. “We want the casinos to pay their fair share for our families’ health care.”
According to a recent study conducted by Dr. Jane Kiser of Indiana University, 17% of riverboat workers who are parents have no health insurance for their children, and another 24% have enrolled their children on Hoosier Healthwise, Indiana’s public aid program for low-income families.
UNITE HERE Local 1 represents 850 workers at Harrah’s East Chicago, Majestic Star, Trump, Buffington Harbor Pavilion and the Blue Chip Casino in northwest Indiana.