Health Care and Business

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    http://www.flyteblog.com/flyte/2007/03/health_care_and.html
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As a small business owner, I’m concerned about the growing costs of health care. This year our insurance went up 16%…nothing to sneeze at. We also upped our company contribution to 60% (from 50%), so I’m acutely aware of this cost on our bottom line.

A few weeks back, BusinessWeek ran an interesting story called Get Healthy–Or Else, about how Scotts, the lawn-care company, is tackling the high cost of health insurance. Some might argue their approach is forward thinking (one employee’s life was saved by being nagged to go to a physical) or invasive (another employee was let go for failing a drug test for…tobacco.)

In this week’s issue there was a two-page spread for feedback from readers called Wellness–Or Orwellness? Whether you agree or not with what Scotts is doing it makes for thought-provoking reading. Readers raise issues of privacy, fairness, and whether healthy people should be paying for obese people’s health care costs.

My .02? Companies should get out of the health care business. Employees often feel trapped in a job (not here at flyte!) because they’re afraid they’re going to lose health insurance. Some employers may subconsciously (or even consciously) hire younger, seemingly-healthier people to lower premiums. Health care costs are part of what’s crippling the American auto industry. (Lack of foresight, over-reliance on trucks and SUVs and bad management also factor in.)

By getting businesses out of health care and letting them focus on their core business would be a boon to companies and the people who work there. 

Rich Brooks
Small Business Owner

  • Glenn Walker

    I agree. As a small business owner myself, I’ve seen premiums increase 16% each year over the past 6 years. And I’m growing concerned about the affordability of providing health coverage with each passing year.

  • Glenn Walker

    I agree. As a small business owner myself, I’ve seen premiums increase 16% each year over the past 6 years. And I’m growing concerned about the affordability of providing health coverage with each passing year.

  • Michael Brown

    Rich – You are making a good point but remember that getting companies out of the health care business will not reduce the cost of health care and getting the government into health care will probably increase the cost. Bottom line is that companies will still pick up the bill through taxes.

  • Michael Brown

    Rich – You are making a good point but remember that getting companies out of the health care business will not reduce the cost of health care and getting the government into health care will probably increase the cost. Bottom line is that companies will still pick up the bill through taxes.

  • http://www.flyteblog.com Rich Brooks

    Mike,

    It seems that in America people either fear big business or big government. Personally, I fear both, but I've got my own issues.

    The government does some things well, and others not so well. Just because government takes over health care (if it does) doesn't mean it has to increase in cost. In fact, it can come down if managed responsibly. (I know, some people feel gov't can never do that.)

    The current state of health care is untenable(?) however. It's stifling small business, big business and employees across the country. A universal health care with personal responsibility (co-pay) would be my choice.

  • http://www.flyteblog.com Rich Brooks

    Mike,

    It seems that in America people either fear big business or big government. Personally, I fear both, but I've got my own issues.

    The government does some things well, and others not so well. Just because government takes over health care (if it does) doesn't mean it has to increase in cost. In fact, it can come down if managed responsibly. (I know, some people feel gov't can never do that.)

    The current state of health care is untenable(?) however. It's stifling small business, big business and employees across the country. A universal health care with personal responsibility (co-pay) would be my choice.

  • http://www.vqvgroup.com Mira's Desk

    After many years of managing large organizations in the corporate world I started my own small discount office furniture business five years ago. I have struggled to offer a solid health care plan for my employees. We have had steady growth over the years, but not the cost of health care has grown even faster. Do you know of any states that offer a subsidized small business health care plan like Arkansas?

  • http://www.vqvgroup.com Mira's Desk

    After many years of managing large organizations in the corporate world I started my own small discount office furniture business five years ago. I have struggled to offer a solid health care plan for my employees. We have had steady growth over the years, but not the cost of health care has grown even faster. Do you know of any states that offer a subsidized small business health care plan like Arkansas?