WASHINGTON, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Rising health care costs are the single biggest economic concern facing American businesses, according to a survey of business leaders released today by Business Forward.
Nearly 90% of those polled cite health care costs as a major concern, more than cite taxes, government regulation, labor costs or energy costs.
Without reform, 86% of those polled believe that health care costs will continue to rise in the next five years, and 55% believe it will go up "a lot." If costs continue to rise as expected, nearly 9 out of 10 business leaders expect to raise their employees' deductibles and copayments. Nearly 8 out of 10 expect to cut benefits. And nearly one in three expects to lay off employees.
"Year after year, business leaders have watched health care costs consume a larger part of their budgets and our economy, and they want action," said Business Forward Executive Director Jim Doyle. "This poll reminds us why it is so important for business leaders, trade groups, regulators, Congress and the President to stay at the negotiating table."
The poll, conducted by Anzalone Liszt Research in advance of President Obama's address to Congress, showed that 57% of business leaders believe health care reform should be an important government policy. They support key elements of a reform plan, including insurance exchange (78% favorable), efficiency reforms and an oversight commission (71%), requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions (79%) and a public health option (51%).
"At a time when many Americans are worried about partisanship on both sides, this support is significant, because it comes from a group -- business leaders -- that is disproportionately Republican," said Doyle.
The survey also indicates that the surge in interest among business leaders d
|SOURCE Business Forward|
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