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83 Percent of Small Businesses Say 'No' to Health Care Public Option, 89 Percent Say Government Cannot Provide Adequate Health Care

Michigan Business and Professional Association Releases New Health Care Overhaul Survey

WARREN, Mich., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Eighty-three percent of the owners of small businesses surveyed across Michigan do not support a government-operated health care plan as a public option for insurance, according to a new survey of the members of the Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA) and the Michigan Food and Beverage Association (MFBA) headquartered in Warren. This is intriguing data as Michigan's economy has been under national scrutiny and the bills were designed to help small business.

The U.S. House bill, as currently drafted, imposes a penalty of up to 8 percent of a business' payroll for not following the health care insurance mandate, a provision that 86 percent of Association members opposed in the survey.

Jennifer Kluge, COO of both Associations, said, "Small business has an important stake in the health care reform discussion, given the fact that our current economic condition has left many individuals without insurance and many businesses having to cut insurance as a cost savings measure. Legislators believe that small businesses see the public health care option as a positive, but our survey results show otherwise. The Associations oppose any health care changes that have a public option and we would encourage our lawmakers to do further diligence as they merge these bills"

Association member Ray Heinlen, owner of Heinlen Trucking LLC in St. Johns, doesn't believe the government can provide a satisfactory health care plan, adding, "I can't name one government program that is efficient, or that is not out of money. Why would this be any different?"

Bonnie Zeigler, an Association member and president of New-Tech in Midland, said if a government-run health care plan was put into effect, she would continue to provide insurance to her employees. "My reaction is to continue to offer our current plan, but we may not be able to afford it."

The survey, sent out the week of Dec. 14, 2009 to Association members, offered a clear look at how many Michigan small business owners view the health care reform issue.

  • 85 percent do not support the provision of mandatory health care for individuals, or the imposition of a 2.5 percent tax on those without insurance.
  • Should a government-run health care plan take effect, survey respondents said they would make the following choices:
    • 16 percent said their company would pay the tax of up to 8 percent annually of payroll and employees would enroll in the government public option plan.
    • 23 percent said their company would continue to offer their employee health care plan and pay the premiums.
    • A staggering 56 percent were not sure what they would do.
  • 77 percent of survey respondents said the new government health care plan should not cover abortions.
  • 89 percent of Association members responding said they do not believe the government can provide adequate health care that will meet the needs of the country under the proposed legislation.

Kluge urged small business owners to continue to contact their U.S. senators and representatives to air their concerns about national health care reforms and the potential impact upon their business and their employees.

Based in Warren, Mich., the MBPA ( is the largest business organization of small to medium-sized businesses in Michigan, representing more than 20,000 members who employ over 180,0000 persons. Members include attorneys, physicians, architects, accountants, construction companies, banks, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and the like. Member businesses receive numerous benefits including free legal and financial consultations; discounted technology, automotive and office products; employee training and recruitment assistance; and competitive insurance rates. The MBPA is a sister association to the Michigan Food & Beverage Association (MFBA, with more than 3,400 members.

SOURCE Michigan Business and Professional Association

SOURCE Michigan Business and Professional Association
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