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NSBA releases survey on healthcare reform

The National Small Business Association (NSBA, www.nsba.biz) has released the 2009 Small Business Health Care Reform Survey which provides an updated snapshot of how the small-business community is faring when it comes to healthcare. Additionally, the survey provides small-business opinions on various proposals currently being addressed in Congress.

The survey found that 92% of small business respondents are planning for an increase in their healthcare premiums in the coming year. Although the average expected increase is 13%, one-fifth anticipate premium increases of more than 20% next year.

“The cost of health insurance has dire implications on small business job creation,” stated Todd McCracken, president and CEO of NSBA. “Premium increases forced 31% of small businesses to hold off on hiring a new employee, and 19 percent to actually lay-off an employee. This cannot continue if we have any hope of economic growth in the near future.”

In addition to having broad implications for small business job creation, offering health insurance to employees has for many years served as a significant competitive disadvantage for small businesses in competing with larger companies. Nearly 80% believe that offering health insurance provides their small company a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining top quality employees.

Regarding the employer’s role in reform, the overwhelming majority—73%—stated their opposition to a requirement that employers make a financial contribution to employees’ health plan or pay some kind of fee. Affordability is a key tenet in small-business owners’ ability to provide health insurance and also should be in any reform proposal. Among those not currently offering their employees health insurance, 63 percent said they would do so if it were more affordable. NSBA’s small-business members have expressed wide-spread concern that the various proposals offered to date don’t include the kind of cost-containment policies that would ensure the affordability of a required health insurance policy.

Click here to view the full survey


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