When Healthcare is Fixed for Small Business, It’s Fixed for America

John Kabateck
NFIB State Director in California

As our leaders look to revive the flat-lined 2007 "Year of Healthcare", it is important to remember that small business owners, employees, and family members make up 60 percent of the uninsured, so until healthcare is fixed for small business it is not "fixed".  But what does truly "fixed" health care look like for California’s job creators?

NFIB has put forth ten principles for small business healthcare reform which include:

  • Universal: All Americans should have access to quality care and protection against catastrophic costs.  A government safety net should enable the neediest to obtain coverage.
  • Private: To the greatest extent possible, Americans should receive their health insurance and healthcare through the private sector.  Care must be taken to minimize the extent to which government safety nets crowd out private insurance and care.
  • Affordable: Healthcare costs to individuals, providers, governments, and businesses must be reasonable, predictable and controllable.
  • Unbiased: Healthcare and tax laws should not push Americans into employer-provided or government-provided insurance programs and hobble the market for individually purchased policies.  Small employers should be treated the same as large employers, who can already pool across state lines.  A healthcare system built on employer mandates is unacceptable.
  • Competitive: Consumers should have many choices among insurers and providers.  Policymakers must alleviate the limitations that state boundaries and treatment mandates place on competitiveness.
  • Portable: Americans should be able to move throughout the United States and change jobs without losing their health insurance.
  • Transparent: Information technology should enable all parties to access accurate, user-friendly information on costs, quality and outcomes.
  • Efficient: Healthcare policy should encourage an appropriate level of spending on healthcare.  Laws, regulations and insurance arrangements should direct healthcare spending on those goods and services that will maximize health.
  • Evidence-based: A healthcare system must encourage consumers and providers to accumulate evidence and to use that evidence to improve health.  Appropriate treatment choices and better wellness and preventative care should be key outcomes.
  • Realistic: Healthcare reform should proceed as rapidly as possible, but not so quickly that firms and individuals cannot adjust prudently.  It is important to assure that no one’s quality of care suffers as we move to provide coverage for all Americans.

This week in Fresno, NFIB conducted its fifth "Fix-it Forum" as part of the organization’s national Solutions Start Here healthcare campaign.  This is the largest and most aggressive campaign in the 65-year history of NFIB, and serves as the small business platform for healthcare reform and educates policymakers about the unique healthcare needs of America’s job creators.

More than 50 Fresno-area small business owners discussed how healthcare reform should be approached from a small business friendly point of view.  Many expressed frustration with the rising costs of insurance premiums year after year.  Most agreed that being able to offer benefits such as health insurance, makes it easier to attract talented employees to work in their businesses.

We look forward to our continued discussions with California policymakers on how best to reform healthcare for our state.  Because when you fix healthcare for small business, it’s fixed for America.

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