Friday, April 25, 2008

Single Payer Health Care is good for business

Investigated the "Family and Business Healthcare Security Act" (HB 1660/SB 300).

"No policy response other than the Single-Payer Solution offers so great a reward in terms of health, wealth, and self-determination" writes Chuck Pennacchio, Ph.D.

Good for Pennsylvania; Good for Business

Why Single-Payer Healthcare is a Winner for Business:

• Eliminate administrative costs to businesses, doctors, hospitals, and patients

• Stop high annual increases in health insurance premiums

• Allow more reliable budgeting: predictable, affordable healthcare costs

• Eliminate annoying negotiations with insurance companies

• Attract new business to Pennsylvania

• Make Pennsylvania businesses more competitive

• Keep small businesses from being hit with higher premiums

• Enable the Commonwealth to leverage its buying power for Prescription Drugs

• Cover all employees at a cost that is affordable to them and to you

• Create a healthier, happier, more productive work force

"This year, our premiums went up 74%, which our agent thought was a mistake. We have a woman who is terminally ill with cancer, and the insurance company stated this had nothing to do with our increase. No company, large or small, can absorb that kind of cost increase. So, what, drop her coverage? And how do you live with yourself?" Scott Tyson M.D - CEO Pediatrics South, Pittsburgh, Pa. (60 employees)

"We work very hard to try to insure our employees because we feel that is our obligation. Every year we sit down and look at our health plan. We make choices based on what should we cover; what should we not cover; what should the deductible be; how much should we charge employees when they go the doctor's office. We make all those decisions. Our employees end up just being along for the ride. It's not right, but it's the way it is. It's my obligation to do that to try to protect our plan and get the best, cheapest plan I can for our employees so I can continue to offer health insurance.

"We work with the system that we have, but it is broken, and it seems like single-payer is the way to go." Alan Jacobs - President of Isaac's Restaurant in South Central Pa. (700 employees).

"We have, in the past four years had our insurance rates more than double. We are paying 20% over our existing payroll just for health coverage, and at budget time you don't know what to expect. When you've had 25% increases you pretty much have to say we're going to expect it's going to be 35% higher. We are a for-profit organization, and we can't really afford to pay that and still make money. Under single-payer we'd save at least $50,000 which I could use to hire more people. This past year we increased the deductible... and it was very painful for us to do that. If we pass single-payer we're going to attract businesses. There is no manufacturer that won't want to locate in Pennsylvania because you can predict your expenses year over year. You have stable costs. And everybody's in and nobody's out." Charlie Crystle - Owner and CEO of Mission Research, a Software technology business in Lancaster, Pa. (20 employees)

"I believe it's a moral obligation to provide healthcare for my employees. Six years ago I was paying $176 a month per employee for their healthcare benefits. Last year it went up to $577. This year it went up to $627. They're telling me next year it's going to go up another 20 or 30%, and it's not going to stop. It doesn't make moral sense. It doesn't make political sense. And it doesn't make business sense." Mike Stout – President of Steel Valley Printers, Pittsburgh, Pa. (7 employees)

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