Ten Principles To Reform Health Care System

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The National Federation of Independent Business on Wednesday unveiled 10 principles tooverhaul the health care system, CQHealthBeatreports. The principles -- which were developed after consultation with healthexperts from across the political spectrum -- include universal and affordablehealth care, NFIB President Todd Stottlemyer said (Straus, CQ HealthBeat,12/12). However, the group said it opposes the creation of a single-payersystem, instead favoring private insurance with a government safety net to helpthe neediest U.S.residents obtain coverage.

The group also expressed its opposition to proposals that require businesses toprovide insurance for employees or pay into a fund for the uninsured. NFIB in astatement said that a "health care system built on employer mandates or onpay-or-play taxes is unacceptable." Susan Eckerly, a vice president forNFIB, said that business mandates "are the No. 1 job killer for thesmall-business owner" (Freudenheim, New York Times, 12/13).

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The group believes that portability in health insurance is an important reformto health care. Potential entrepreneurs might not be able to launch a businessif they feel tied to a job because of the health insurance, NFIB spokespersonStephanie Cathcart said. In addition, the group said that the U.S. healthcare system should be competitive, transparent, efficient, unbiased andevidence-based. NFIB added that any reform to the current system should beimplemented at a pace that gives small businesses adequate time to adjust.Cathcart said, "We're asking (presidential) candidates and members ofCongress to use these principles as a starting point."

In related news, NFIB announced that it has joined with the Lewin Groupto conduct a research initiative on policy options and preferences of smallbusinesses about health care,Cathcart said (CQ HealthBeat, 12/12). Also on Wednesday, Mercerreleased a survey showing that 23% of small employers and 25% of largeemployers with 500 or more workers support pay-or-play proposals (NewYork Times, 12/13).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.

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