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Employers Launch Grassroots Health Reform Coalition
Date:9/1/2009

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty statewide chambers and employer organizations from around the country today announced an unprecedented alliance that will add their voice to the federal health care reform debate. The group, Employers for Quality Health Care, is an independent coalition that brings a unique perspective to the table alongside national business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

The members of the coalition -- representing thousands of employers who voluntarily provide coverage for millions of workers and their families -- outlined their priorities and suggestions for reform in a letter to President Obama and members of Congress.

"This coalition was created to enhance our members' grassroots advocacy on this critical issue," said George Israel, president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. "We stand united in support of free-market reforms that promote choice and competition -- improving care, expanding coverage and reducing costs. We look forward to sharing real solutions with Congress, including many that have been effective in our own states.

"Health-related spending accounts for 17 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, and it's rising rapidly," said Joan Verplanck, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. "If we don't get costs under control, the stress on our economy may be insurmountable. Reform is in everyone's interest, but it must be done smart and it must be done right."

"Our health care system is just too expensive right now for many reasons, and we have to reduce costs," said Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business. "At AWB, we feel it like all small businesses when we attempt to budget health, dental and vision care for our 34 people. And we know our 6,600 member companies are also struggling to meet the needs of their employees. W
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SOURCE Employers for Quality Health Care
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