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NSBA Unveils Health Care Initiative and New Data
Date:3/23/2009

WASHINGTON, March 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Small Business Association today launched a new initiative, Health Reform Today, in conjunction with the release of new survey data on the small-business community and their ability to secure quality, affordable health insurance. A long-time supporter of Cover the Uninsured Week, NSBA is pleased to kick off the week-long national effort highlighting the need to reform the U.S. health care system with this new initiative.

"The number of small-business owners who are able to provide health insurance to their employees has dropped from 67 percent in 1995 to 38 percent in 2008," stated NSBA President Todd McCracken. "NSBA members voted health care reform their number one priority for the 111th Congress --- addressing the failures of our health care system simply can not wait yet another year."

The Health Reform Today initiative highlights the need to enact broad health care reform that places the individual health care consumer at the center of the equation. NSBA's health care policy, crafted back in 1993 and revisited in 2004, incorporates individual responsibility, modified community rating on a federally-defined benefit package, low-income subsidies, tax incentives based on the cost of the federal package, and enhanced quality, transparency and health IT. In addition to various policy recommendations, HealthReformToday.org features profiles of small-business owners and their everyday challenges to provide meaningful health care for their employees, as well as results from a recent survey of NSBA members on the state of the U.S. health care system.

According to the March 2009 NSBA Health Care Survey of Small Business, more than one-fifth of small businesses reported annual premium increases in excess of 20 percent over the past four years. In 2008, 28 percent reported an increase in excess of 20 percent. Problems with the U.S. health care system are increasingly weighing heavy both financially and administratively on the backs of America's small businesses. The Health Reform Today initiative intends to change that -- it is high time small-business owners are allowed to get back to doing what they do best: create jobs and grow the economy.

"The cost of health care is becoming a significant barrier to many considering opening their own business," stated David Stetler, NSBA Chair of Health and Human Resources. "Small business creates the overwhelming majority of new jobs and innovations, and Congress must do all it can to ensure that entrepreneurship remains a viable option, including removing barriers such as the hugely burdensome cost of health care."

Please visit HealthReformToday.org for more information and survey data.

Since 1937, NSBA has advocated on behalf of America's entrepreneurs. A staunchly nonpartisan organization, NSBA reaches more than 150,000 small businesses nationwide and is proud to be the nation's first small-business advocacy organization. For more information, please visit www.nsba.biz.


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SOURCE National Small Business Association
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