Does that title make you laugh? Affordable healthcare for small business owners has always seemed like an oxymoron to me! If you’ve tried (or have) health insurance for your small business, you’ve probably discovered that the word “affordable” doesn’t describe it. But hopefully relief is close.
The Senate is preparing to take up S. 1955, "The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2006,"on Monday, May 8. SBHPs will level the playing field and give participating small businesses the same buying power as Fortune 500 companies and unions by allowing them to join together across state lines through trade and professional associations to purchase affordable health benefits.
Last week, NFIB President and CEO Todd A. Stottlemyer stood with the authors of S. 1955 and called for prompt Senate action to pass the legislation. Stottlemyer presented 450,000 signed petitions to bill cosponsors Sen. Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont) at a press conference. The petitions were later delivered to the offices of individual senators.
"This groundswell support shows small-business owners are facing a crisis in providing health insurance for themselves and their employees, and they need immediate relief," NFIB/Florida State Director Allen Douglas said. "Most people understand the doors for small business to access affordable health insurance are being shut.
Recently, NFIB stepped up its campaign to enact SBHPs, running radio ads in key states in order to generate awareness of SBHPs and encourage people to contact their senators through www.SBHPAlert.com. Additionally, NFIB is utilizing Web banner ads on major daily newspaper sites in key states, as well as ads on AOL small-business sites, small-business blogs and sites nationwide, national and local political blogs and sites, and several Washington, D.C. news sites. Print ads are also running in Washington, D.C., newspapers.
Can we make this happen? You bet! Small business owners and entrepreneurs make up over ninety percent of the businesses in the US. That’s a huge voice. But we have to make the time to do it. If you would like to put the word “affordable” back in healthcare for small business, hop on over to www.SBHPAlert.com and take action now.