Small Businesses Fear Reform Could Worsen Rising Health Costs
"Many small businesses are worried that rising health insurance costs are choking their growth and hindering the creation of new companies, and they fear health care reform plans being debated in Congress and by the Obama administration could end up costing them even more in taxes, according to business advocates," the Baltimore Sun reports. Some of those views were collected in a survey released Tuesday by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. According to the survey 29 percent of  businesses were unable to offer insurance to their employees, and many said their health care costs had risen this year. "Rising health care costs are choking American small businesses just when we need them the most," said Nicholas Green, an organizer for the research group's Maryland contingent (Sentementes, 7/22).
The survey also found that "one in four U.S. businesses with five or fewer employees offers health insurance, and 26 million of the 46 million uninsured people in the United States are small business employees, owners or dependents," the Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel reports. Eighty percent of the business not currently offering insurance said they would like to, but can't afford it (Anderson, 7/21).