Businesses WANT Health Care Reform

Voters want it. Business leaders want it. Kind of makes you wonder why nothing gets done on this issue. As the Grand Junction Sentinel reports:

Local businesses share many of the concerns about health care as their statewide peers, surveys conducted Tuesday at a Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce event show.

Nearly 30 members of the local business community told representatives from the Business Health Forum, a nonprofit organization, they would like to see the Legislature mandate that all Coloradans secure some basic form of health insurance.

Those business leaders also agreed – by a nearly two-to-one margin – that policymakers should avoid mandating that businesses provide health care coverage for their employees.

The quality of available health care shouldn’t depend on the type of job a person has, said Steve Hurd, executive director of the Marillac Clinic.

Amy Fletcher, associate director of the Business Health Forum, said even though the health care issues confronting Mesa County are similar to Colorado’s rural areas, the polls showed area businesses to be in agreement with their peers on the Front Range.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. jericho says:

    So twenty of thirty self-selected businesses told an advocacy group at an event show that they would like laws about health care -and that’s some sort of mandate?

  2. ajb says:

    If the business community wants a health insurance mandate, then they ought to draft up proposed legislation and push it with some advertising. Put up or shut up.

    Universal health insurance coverage will (at least in the short term) increase taxes. How many of these business owners will vote for increased taxes? Many did for Ref C and D, but that was a temporary fix, this is permanent. And how many of those willing to stand up at a Chamber meeting will side with Democrats when this goes to a vote? Or will they just sit back when Republicans start to bash Democrats over the notion of raising taxes?

    Talk is cheap.

    • parsingreality says:

      Yes, taxes will go up, but those pesky checks to Blue Cross will stop.

      Why is this so often overlooked?

      Heck even the Big Three (are there still three?) have told Congress that they want universal health care.  The union negotiated packages when good times were rolling are breaking them.  

      • ajb says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but supporting an individual mandate for health insurance differs from supporting universal health care.

        In the former, everybody pays for insurance. The poor get subsidized insurance. Increased taxes pay for that subsidy. So we pay premiums AND taxes.

        In the latter, we go to a single payer and we either pay premiums OR taxes. Personally, I’d prefer universal health care, but I don’t see that passing in CO, not so long as dems run away at the first mention of taxes.  

    • I don’t see this happening until 2009 when we hopefully have a Democratic President.  Until that time, businesses probably have better things to do – like defecting to the Democratic Party for donations to boost the chances of a strong D majority.

      Businesses will come to the table gladly when they can talk efficiently to 536 politicians instead of trying to scream through the babble of the general electorate.

      I don’t know that big business will ever Do The Right Thing and actively defend Democrats, but they will at least not join the right-wing chorus on this issue – it saves them money.

  3. EqualRights says:

    I read the story and also looked at Mike Saccone’s blog on the Sentinel’s website.  It looks like one of the GLBT community’s biggest boosters in Denver (Rep. Bernie Buescher) is backing off his support for SB 200, calling it a “silly issue.”  Sorry, Mr. Buescher.  My equal rights are much more than a silly issue.  You should be ashamed for supporting us in Denver and then selling us out when you go home to your district.  We’ll remember this when you come to us wanting to be Speaker.

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    The biggest government issue that directly affects my business is healthcare. Please make it available to all and get us businesses out of the health insurance business.

    Can my taxes go up to do this – yes! Have them go up by the amount I presently pay to Aetna and I’ll thank you. Have it go up a bit more and I’m still happy because I face costs on this outside of the monthly check I write.

    My only question on the 2/3 of business owners supporting this is that that sounds awfully low.

    • BlueCat says:

      So do auto makers. Being the only modern industrialized nation on earth without a national healthcare plan is a huge burden on business as well as on every individual, and puts American businesses at a huge disadvantage. Not to mention the fact that  the health of the American populace doesn’t compare well with that of the populations of other wealthy modern countries.

      The idea that it’s better to pay exorbitant health care costs privately than to pay anything for healthcare in taxes that would get us better healthcare for less is losing ground fast as our costs go up and access to quality healthcare goes down.

      With our healthcare system, education system and infrastructure all crumbling maybe it’s time to stop listening to the “we know how to spend our money better than the government does” mantra.  There are some things we can only provide ourselves with collectively, through our elected government.  

      If we stop electing people, like the Bushies, who hate government and see it only as a vehicle for rewarding their friends, we might find that we CAN have a government that DOES know how to use our money to  provide access to healthcare, levees that hold up, bridges that don’t fall down, protect us from shoddy and dangerous imports and enforce regulations in every area from the food industry to the mortgage industry that protect ordinary Americans.

      Of course in order  to have a government that works for us we have to be willing to pay attention, refuse to be manipulated through spin, buzz words, sound bites, wedge issues and fear mongering, support courageous innovative candidates and demand accountability from those we elect.  That’s the only way we’ll ever have the kind of elected officials who can get us out of the mess we’re in on all fronts, including healthcare, and empower them to do it without fear of losing their next election.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        support courageous innovative candidates and demand accountability from those we elect.  That’s the only way we’ll ever have the kind of elected officials who can get us out of the mess we’re in on all fronts, including healthcare, and empower them to do it without fear of losing their next election.

        So who do we replace Udall with?

        • BlueCat says:

          You never give up, do you. For one thing, I think you’ll find Udall has voted with progressives numerous times on numerous issues.  Leaving that aside, right now who would you suggest we replace Udall with, this election cycle, and how do you suggest we elect whoever it is you have in mind. Just askin’  

          • DavidThi808 says:

            I was just pointing out that you’ve exorciated me over my complaint about Udall and yet by your post you two should find him greatly lacking.

            I think what we need to do is elect him and then primary him in 6 years. But I’m not going to put any effort in to get him elected – his vote was identical to the one Schaffer would have cast. And we will have a Dem majority regardless.

            Anyways, my point was Udall does not fit the requirements you posted in that comment. Can’t we say Mark sucks, but he’s what we’re stuck with rather than pretending he’s great?

            • BlueCat says:

              I would say perhaps”chided” rather than anything so harsh as “exoriated” and I wouldn’t characterize Udall as harshly as you do but in general, yes.  

              At this stage we are presented with a certain political playing field and we have to work with it. We can incrementally improve the situation (and we’ve improved the situation already by some pretty hefty increments since 2004) to build a better playing field. We have an opportunity to make a pretty amazing leap in 2008 alone.

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