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NCBA's Statement in Response to Senator Conrad's Proposal to Reform Health Care
Date:6/11/2009

WASHINGTON, June 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Congress debates what shape health care reform will take, the cooperative business model has entered prominently into the discussion. Cooperatives save money for members by aggregating demand for specific services, whether it's health insurance, pharmaceuticals or hospital supplies. For example, in a health insurance purchasing cooperative, consumers or businesses can band together to purchase private health insurance policies in bulk, passing savings along to members. Cooperative health care providers also save money for members because, in addition to buying in bulk, the not-for-profit cooperative does not answer to outside investors.

The National Cooperative Business Association is a strong advocate for health care cooperatives, and we are now analyzing the specific proposals Senator Conrad has put forth to Congress.

Cooperatively owned businesses represent a major contribution to the U.S. and world economy. Co-ops are businesses that are jointly owned and democratically run. People form cooperatives to fill their needs for services that if obtained on an individual basis would be unavailable or prohibitively expensive. Research led by the University of Wisconsin and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the U.S. is home to some 29,000 co-ops. These businesses hold $3.1 trillion in assets, and create two million jobs, $652 in revenues and $74 billion in wages and benefits. They operate in every sector of the economy, from locally owned businesses to Fortune 500-listed businesses.

For more information about health care cooperatives, visit NCBA's Web site, www.ncba.coop. There's a link to the Wisconsin study on the front page, and the "about cooperatives" page has detailed information about health care co-ops.

ABOUT NCBA

Headquartered in Washington, the National Cooperative Business Association creates cooperative connections across all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, food distribution and retailing, childcare, credit unions, housing, healthcare, energy, and telecommunications.


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SOURCE National Cooperative Business Association
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