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June 8th, 2008
They are PART OF THE SOLUTION
Read the complete Survey Report: Report
ALBANY, N.Y. (June 4, 2008) – A healthy majority of small businesses in New York believe that a public-private partnership is the best way to provide health insurance to their workers, according, to a new survey The Health Care Pulse of New York Small Business issued today (Wednesday) by BALCONY – The Business and Labor Coalition of New York, the American Cancer Society, AARP and the Small Business Majority.
At the same time, fully half of New York small businesses do not provide health insurance, and of those that do, a large number are cutting benefits or raising costs to employees to maintain some coverage.
The Insurance and Health Departments are working on finding practical ways to provide health insurance to all New Yorkers through the Partnership for Coverage. As this survey shows, solving the health insurance problem for small businesses is an essential part of that effort. Right now, we are helping small businesses through the Healthy NY program. We hope to apply the lessons of Healthy NY and of this survey to our larger effort to make quality, affordable coverage available for New York’s small businesses,” said Eric Dinallo, New York Insurance Superintendent, “Small businesses are facing a big problem, with many of them dropping and cutting back benefits because of rising costs of both insurance and pharmaceuticals but they don’t want to abandon the struggle,” said Bruce Ventimiglia, Co-chair of BALCONY and Chairman of Saratoga Capital Management, a small business based in Garden City, New York. “The business owners tell us they want to be part of the solution.”
The survey results indicate that:
“In this tough economy, small businesses should not have to chose between profits and employee health,” said Peter Slocum, vice president of advocacy, American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey. “There is a strong message here that business, employees and government working together can make good quality health insurance affordable for everyone.”
Fully 81% of respondents favored a system jointly financed by business, employees and government. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (72%) favored giving business the option of paying into a statewide pool for employee insurance. While 92% stated the cost of pharmaceuticals was a major factor in impacting the cost of providing health care for employees.
“It is a fundamental mission of AARP to help ensure access to affordable health care and prescription drug coverage to our members,” said Lois Aronstein, AARP New York State Director. “We are encouraged to see that small businesses not only want to provide affordable health insurance coverage to their employees, but want to be part of New York’s health care reform debate.”
“It is particularly noteworthy that small businesses across the board embrace a wide range of comprehensive reforms to help resolve the health care crisis,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority, a leading national small business advocacy organization.
The Health Care Pulse of New York was analyzed and written by Eleni Delimpaltadaki, director of research of BALCONY, and John Arensmeyer of the Small Business Majority. The telephone survey of 409 New York State businesses, conducted from April 21 to May 12, 2008, focused on businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
In April and May 2008 BALCONY, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, Small Business Majority (SBM), the American Cancer Society (ACS) and AARP conducted a scientific survey of small businesses across New York State. The survey examines New York State small business attitudes towards health care reform. It also measures how New York’s entrepreneurs feel about health care costs and the popularity of various options to reform the health care insurance system which have been circulating in Albany and elsewhere in the United States.
“The Health Care Pulse of New York Small Businesses” study is uniquely positioned in the health care debate in New York as the first scientific RDD (Random Digit Dial) survey of small businesses across the State to become public. To our knowledge, the available public release polls of small business’ health care attitudes in New York surveyed only organization members. The present study surveyed small businesses despite organizational, political or other affiliation.
In 2006 SBM, a national non-profit small business advocacy group, conducted a national scientific poll of small businesses and a more extensive scientific poll of Health Care concerns of small business in California in 2007. Those surveys showed health care to be a primary concern for small businesses, and the survey respondents expressed support for a wide variety of health care reform solutions.
BALCONY concluded that it would be immensely helpful to the Partnership for Coverage Health Care reform debate in New York to team up with SBM and conduct a similar survey in New York. Moreover, BALCONY enlisted its members the American Cancer Society and AARP to join as partners for this research project.
Read the complete Survey Report: Report
Read the Survey Questionnaire: Survey Questionnaire