NFIB Announces Major Initiatives to Address Small-Business Health Care Crisis

Unveils “Principles for Health Care Reform” and major research initiative with The Lewin Group.

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We will engage on this issue at every level to ensure that small-business owners and their employees have affordable options for health care.

Washington, D.C. (Vocus) December 12, 2007

Today, the National Federation of Independent Business , the nation’s leading small business association, laid out a foundation to address the No. 1 issue plaguing small-business owners for more than two decades – access to quality, affordable health care. NFIB unveiled its “Small Business Principles for Health Care Reform” and revealed details about research projects that will undergird the development of health care reform policies for small businesses.

The culmination of more than 20 years of research, coupled with months of meetings with leading health-care policy experts from across the country, has led to the creation of NFIB’s principles for small-business health care reform. These core values will guide NFIB’s development of more specific, actionable policy initiatives (based on our upcoming research) that will be explored by policymakers moving forward.

“NFIB is committed to being a catalyst for change. With the presidential campaigns kicking into high gear and health care at the top of the domestic agenda, we are clearly setting the table for reform in 2009. And with small business making up the largest segment of the uninsured population, it is critically important for small business to have a seat at that table. NFIB plans to bring their needs to the forefront and make everyone aware of what small business stands for,” said Todd Stottlemyer, president and CEO, NFIB. “We have brought together the best and the brightest to develop a policy foundation that allows NFIB to proactively contribute to solving America’s health care cost crisis. And we will engage leaders in the debate who are committed to doing the same.”

“Small Business Principles for Health Care Reform” (Read the Complete Document Here)

Our current system of health insurance and health care is financially unsustainable and threatens the health and financial security of the American people. Small-business owners and their employees are especially vulnerable to the weaknesses of our current system. NFIB supports policy reforms to balance the competing goals of access to quality care, affordability, predictability and consumer choice. The resulting health care system would be based on ten principles: universal, private, affordable, unbiased, competitive, portable, transparent, efficient, evidence-based, and realistic.

The Lewin Group Research

NFIB has engaged The Lewin Group, one of the nation’s pre-eminent health care consulting organizations, to undertake the research necessary for NFIB to develop approaches to improve small businesses’ access to more affordable health care. The Lewin Group’s research is designed to help NFIB better understand the available policy options and the preferences of independent businesses concerning those options.

Lewin has extensive experience conducting such analyses. As a result, Lewin’s role in the various surveys, focus groups and economic analysis is to provide NFIB with high-powered technical, research and analytical assistance rather than to support or advocate NFIB’s vision. Lewin will bring its research techniques to the table to help NFIB gain a greater depth of understanding to how health care reforms favored by small businesses might impact the overall health care system, allowing NFIB to best serve its members.

As part of its commitment to pushing the health care debate to the forefront of issues, NFIB has also created a health care advisory board comprised of representative small-business owners who will provide counsel and guidance moving forward. NFIB is also partnering with outside organizations to magnify the small business voice, joining the Divided We Fail coalition last month. Together with AARP, the Service Employees International Union and the Business Roundtable, Divided We Fail seeks to engage the American public, elected officials and the business community to find broad-based, bipartisan solutions to address the national health care crisis.

“Our commitment to small business’ No. 1 concern has never been clearer,” said Stottlemyer. “We will engage on this issue at every level to ensure that small-business owners and their employees have affordable options for health care.”

About NFIB
NFIB (http://www.NFIB.com) is the nation’s leading small-business advocacy association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system.

NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at http://www.NFIB.com/newsroom.

About The Lewin Group
The Lewin Group (http://www.lewin.com) is a premier national health care and human services consulting firm with more than 35 years of experience finding answers and solving problems for leading organizations in the public, non-profit, and private sectors.

Lewin's strategic and analytical services aim to help clients: Improve policy and expand knowledge of health care and human services systems, Enact, run, and evaluate programs to enhance delivery and financing of health care and human services; Deal with shifts in health care practice, technology, and regulation; Optimize performance, quality, coverage, and health outcomes; Create strategies for institutions, communities, governments, and people to make health care and human services systems more effective.

CONTACT: Stephanie Cathcart
(202) 314-2056

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