The federal Affordable Care Act will impose financial penalties on large companies whose workers seek health care coverage through one of the newly formed health insurance exchanges.
But Democratic Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez says there's a loophole that would allow large companies with California workers who enroll in Medi-Cal to avoid those penalties.
GOMEZ: "There would not be a need for this bill if the employers - especially the largest employers in California, 500 or more - just took the responsibility to provide health care coverage for their workers."
But Bill Dombrowski of the California Retailers Association says there is no loophole, and the bill would hamper employer flexibility.
DOMBROWSKI: "That's going to cause a person to question ever hiring someone. It just seems very obvious that that would aggravate the employment picture."
The bill will next be heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee.