News Release

Small Businesses Crushed by Rising Health Costs

For Immediate Release

Boston, MA. July 21, 2009— Small business owners are being crushed by rising health care costs, and feel left out of the current health care debate in Washington, according to a new report released today by MASSPIRG, the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group.

“In this economy,” said MASSPIRG’s Legislative Director, “health care costs are killing small business owners. But instead of leading on this important issue, the national Chamber of Commerce and other inside-the-beltway groups are playing politics with a crucial issue and actively impeding reform efforts.”

The new report, The Small Business Dilemma, makes clear that small business owners need health care reform. Three hundred and forty-three small business owners and managers around the country took part in a snapshot survey of small businesses by U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. The result, The Small Business Dilemma, finds that the costs and administrative hassles associated with offering insurance weigh particularly heavily on small businesses.

According to the 14-page report:

•    Small businesses value health insurance as a key to business success because it allows them to attract better employees.
•    78% of small business owners surveyed who do not offer coverage would like to do so but face high affordability barriers
•    Many small businesses felt their interests were not represented in the current health reform debate.

The health reforms being proposed in Congress will “rein in health costs for small businesses and save jobs,” Cummings concluded.

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