ShareThis Page
Health plan help |

Health plan help

| Saturday, July 26, 2003 12:00 a.m

U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum has often been a friend of working people. Now he can help us again by co-sponoring legislation that would permit small businesses to join together to shop for insurance at volume discount rates.

The House has passed legislation to make this happen. The Senate should do the same with the Small Business Health Fairness Act (S. 545).

The legislation’s aim is to attack the escalating cost of health insurance for small businesses, which have reported increases of 30 percent and more during the past year. The increases are squeezing profits, forcing employees to pay for a larger share of their insurance and even prompting some businesses to cut back their health coverage or stop offering it.

About 60 percent of the nation’s uninsured work for small businesses or depend upon someone who does. Contributing to the cost problem for small businesses is the fact that one small company does not have enough employees to attract the lower rates available to large corporations. Buying in bulk gives you a volume discount.

Some groups already sponsor pooled small-business health plans. But they are allowed only on a state-by-state basis and must abide by state regulations. That prevents the big savings that national small-business associations could offer.

At no cost to taxpayers, the Small Business Health Fairness Act offers small businesses an opportunity to control rising health insurance costs. It also offers the country an opportunity to ensure that more people are covered by health insurance. Call or write Sen. Santorum and ask him to co-sponsor the bill.

David K. Cranston Jr.

The writer is owner of Harwood J. Cranston Company in Sewickley, which distributes industrial equipment.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.