Small Business Puts Healthcare Reform First

Share Article

Small Business Majority founder John Arensmeyer comments on new research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that finds that small business owners put healthcare reform first when it comes to what the Obama Administration needs to focus on. As the 'engine' of the economy, small business can't afford rising and unpredictable healthcare costs, and the U.S. can't afford to neglect small business any longer.

Despite the enormous contributions of small business to the growth of the 21st century American economy, the stability of our communities, and our global competitiveness, entrepreneurial values are largely absent from our political debate, and small businesses have been woefully ill-represented politically

A staggering financial crisis can't dissuade President-elect Barack Obama from making healthcare reform a top priority, because small business - widely regarded as the 'engine' of our economy - can't prosper amid rising and unpredictable costs. Dispelling a popular myth that small business doesn't want healthcare reform is the first step in giving entrepreneurs the boost they need to help jump-start the economy.

That's the opinion of John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, a national small business healthcare advocate, speaking about research released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Public Opinion Strategies and Lake Research Partners (See a summary of the research findings at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). Surveyed were 400 small business owners and executives of firms that have fewer than 50 employees and pay for some portion of their employees' health benefits.

According to the new research, more than one in three small business owners (36 percent) say that rising costs are likely to cause them to cut some portion of health insurance benefits for their employees. They look to Congress and the new president to help address their concerns, with nearly half of small business owners (42 percent) saying 'making health care more affordable' is the idea Washington should address first.

"Despite the enormous contributions of small business to the growth of the 21st century American economy, the stability of our communities, and our global competitiveness, entrepreneurial values are largely absent from our political debate, and small businesses have been woefully ill-represented politically," said Arensmeyer. "Small business owners are looking to the new administration to tackle a problem that has long been spiraling out of control."

"More so than erratic energy costs or taxes, small business owners views healthcare as key to their competitiveness and the economic health of the country."

Arensmeyer went on to say that entrepreneurs are pragmatists who are focused on the bottom line, and that healthcare reform shouldn't be a partisan issue.

"Small business owners are already under a strain, and when coupled with rising and unpredictable healthcare costs, the challenge can be almost insurmountable,"said Arensmeyer. "And all they are really asking for is a level playing field - a solution that puts them on par with their big business counterparts when it comes to being able to offer quality coverage for their employees."

Particularly revealing in the RWJF research was the idea that one solution doesn't dominate in the minds of small business owners. "A majority of small businesses are willing to pay into a system of shared responsibility that works and ensures small business access to affordable quality healthcare," said Arensmeyer. "It's not a question of 'if' we should pursue reform, it's 'how.' And more importantly, 'when.'"

About Small Business Majority (Small Business Majority)

Small Business Majority is a national nonprofit organization of business entrepreneurs working to ensure prosperity in the 21st century economy by building a politically aware and active community of small business leaders.

###

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Lisa Lilienthal
Visit website