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U.S. Health Care System Must Be Reformed, Say Nine Out of 10 Realtors(R)
Date:4/2/2008

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Realtors(R) joined U.S. Senators Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.; Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; and Norm Coleman, R-Minn. as they introduced the Small Business Health Options Program today. NAR supports and endorses the program but reiterates the importance of reforming the U.S. health care market for small businesses and independent contractors.

A recently conducted 2008 NAR Health Insurance Coverage survey found that 91 percent of Realtors(R) believe that the U.S. health care system should be reformed, and 82 percent believe the current health care system is not meeting the needs of most Americans. Nearly a quarter of NAR's 1.3 million members do not have health care insurance, and for most Realtors(R) without insurance, the reason is cost.

"More than half of all Realtors(R) report that the current health care system is not meeting their needs or those of their family," said NAR President-elect Charles McMillan, who spoke at the press conference in which SHOP was introduced. "This issue is substantial and meaningful, and it affects Realtors(R) and other small business employees and independent contractors all across our country. That is why NAR joined the senators today in a strong show of support."

As proposed, SHOP would offer tax incentives to encourage states to reform small group insurance markets and to make health insurance premiums for small businesses and the self-employed more affordable. It would also develop a nationwide insurance small business purchasing pool that would still be subject to state insurance regulation to protect those who choose to participate.

"We believe that the legislation introduced today is a much needed step forward in addressing the challenges facing our members, and we thank Senator Durbin for his efforts," McMillan said. "We appreciate that the senators recognize that small businesses need help
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SOURCE National Association of Realtors
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