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California Small Businesses: Health Care Reform OK

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By Neetal Parekh on September 03, 2009 12:50 PM

President Obama is back from vacation and back on the campaign trail for health care reform.  And while he prepares to give a primetime speech to Congress next week, promising to provide firmer details on what he supports in a health care reform, small businesses are already weighing in on the need for reform.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that 61% of 700 businesses surveyed in California said that health care reform is a must to restore the economy.  The random poll also reported that 55% of the small businesses do not provide healthcare coverage, with the vast majority citing the high cost of small business health care plans as the reason.  And the small business complaint of high health care costs is not invalid.  The U.S. small business sector pays a reported 18% more on small business health care plans than their big business counterparts pay for the same coverage. 

The survey also revealed the following:

  • 61% of small businesses said they see some federal government role in improving healthcare.
  • 53% said employers should pay a percent of payroll toward employee coverage, if there is no employer-provided plan
  • 66% said they want a choice between private and public healthcare plans
  • 54% said their access to affordable health coverage is fair or poor, and the 71% of small businesses in rural areas concurred.

If California is any indication, small businesses are ready to hear details on options for health care reform and small business health care plans.  President Obama's speech slated for next Wednesday follows 27 speeches and 92 remarks he has made on the subject.  You can bet that small businesses will be tuning in to see if his 28th address on the subject is the one that makes all the difference.

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