Issue: Health Care

The ASBA on Health Care

Small business is the driving force behind our current economic boom, yet these employers are at a serious disadvantage when it comes to purchasing health insurance. Because of their size, small employers lack real bargaining power, meaning they pay much more for health coverage, are given fewer choices, and have almost no ability to negotiate their rates or terms of coverage. Additionally, small business lack the time, resources and experience to navigate their way through the increasingly complex maze that makes up today's health care system.

The ASBA believes that accessible, affordable and quality health care are key to making businesses, workers, families, and the nation stronger and more prosperous. Unfortunately, current trends are taking us further from that goal: soaring costs are forcing an increasing number of businesses to raise co-pays for their workers or drop coverage altogether, with small businesses being the hardest hit; one million additional Americans a year are falling into the ranks of the uninsured; and those within the system -- consumers, purchasers, and providers - are growing more and more dissatisfied with the quality and delivery of services.

The ASBA is dedicated to improving the health care system, and it has stood out from the other business groups in being a reasoned voice for change. The ASBA helped lead the successful fight for portability through the Kassebaum-Kennedy Health Insurance Reform Act, and was the primary business organization pushing for the Children's Health Insurance Program. ASBA members recognize that having a nation of insured children makes sense -- both ethically and economically.

Currently, the ASBA is supporting efforts by Senators Kennedy and McCain to implement consumer protections in managed care. The ASBA believes that these reforms will help small business by making it easier to compare health plans, by leveling the playing field with big business, and by providing employees a system that better responds to their needs and will make them healthier and more productive workers.

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