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September 09, 2007

Despite High Cost, Small Business Says It Supports Universal Health Care

In a recent poll, more than half of small-business owners in California said they are in favor of contributing to a statewide pool that would offer affordable health care insurance for their employees.

Eighty percent of those surveyed also believe that businesses should provide their employees with health care, according to the survey released Aug. 24 by Small Business for Affordable Healthcare, a coalition of the Small Business Majority, a progressive nonprofit organization based in Sausalito.

The San Diego North Chamber of Commerce conducted its own survey to gauge how the local business community felt about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s health care reform proposal in preparation for his Aug. 31 visit.

Of the 112 people surveyed, 38 percent agreed that every resident in California should have health insurance and nearly 60 percent agreed to increase Medi-Cal reimbursements to doctors and hospitals, according to a statement from Gary Powers, chief executive officer of the chamber.

Under the governor’s plan, employers who have “10 or more employees would be required to spend 4 percent of Social Security wages on health care expenditures for employees or pay an equal amount to fund a statewide purchasing pool,” according to the California Hospital Association.

“It (the chamber survey) also showed that the majority of businesses should share the responsibility,” said Kamal Muilenburg, executive director of the San Diego Business Healthcare Connection. “We support the notion of health care’s shared responsibility.”

The nonprofit organization provides no-cost assistance for county businesses seeking health care.

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Posted by healthinsurance at September 9, 2007 04:52 PM