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August 14, 2009

Vicious Lie: Small Businesses Side with Big Greed on Healthcare

By Chaz Valenza

It's a vicious lie when behemoth corporations and their minions claim small businesses side with them in opposition to healthcare reform. Here's why small businesses share no common ground with the medical and insurance cartel.

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As a small business owner I am sick of being counted as on the side of Big Greed every time these behemoth corporations oppose policies that might pinch their profits, even the playing field, or give workers a fair wage for their labors.

I hate Big Greed, the bully corporations that borrow immense sums of money with no intent of repayment; the "too-big-to-fail" criminal enterprises that would make us all into surfs; and "economies-of-scale" low-price scams that shirk the real costs of their products onto people via deceitful means.

Regarding medical insurance reform, small businesses share no common ground with any of the Big Greed healthcare cartels: hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies and, especially, the insurance companies. And, we would be idiots to side with our bigger corporate competition that can manipulate the current medical care crisis in their favor.

Small businesses currently pay through the nose for medical insurance. We are small groups. Ours is currently nine people from the age of newborn to fifty-five years old.

The average cost per year per person is $4,000 for coverage that excludes pre-existing conditions, hearing aids, certain hospital services (we won't know what these are until we get there), immunizations for travel or work, vision, fertility, contraception that doesn't come in the form of a pill, safe and legal abortion, dental care, which BTW is a big contributor to overall health or the lack there of, and who knows what else.

Our plan has a $2,000 per person deductible and up to a $5,000 annual out-of-pocket co-payment. We pay $60 per month for brand name prescriptions, $100 if we have a true emergency (?) and go to the emergency room, even over the weekend when our primary care physician is not available. And that ambulance ride? It better have been a necessity or it's not covered.

In other words, our middle-of-the-road, in network (HMO) plan is basically medical catastrophe insurance that will still bankruptcy us or our workers with a minimum cost of at least $9,000 every calendar year should the worst happen. None of us make over $50,000 per year. Do the math, if any of us have a medical catastrophe, we're sunk.

If the premiums on our policy continue their 15% per year increases, that's what they've been over the past three years, we will be at $6,000 per person by 2012, a 50% increase over this year. In just six years our medical insurance costs will double. Considering our business model and revenues, we will soon be catapulted off the medical insurance ship without a life preserver.

If you're a small business, less than 25 employees with an annual payroll of half a million dollars or less, you should be shouting down anyone and everyone standing in the way of health care reform (as that seems to be the only communications style that works in our current polarize us vs. Big Greed world). Small businesses, such as mine, will be exempt from any penalty for not providing insurance, and our insurance costs will most likely decrease. Hallelujah if they just stay where they are now and the coverage is the same or better.

Personally, I look forward to having everyone we employ covered by reasonably priced healthcare insurance, competition created from the current take-it-if-you-can-afford-it non-marketplace, and an everyone in the pool system that will spread the risk and cost.

Unlike Big Greed corporations, I face my employees every day I go to work with them. I value them. I see them as human beings, not payrolls to be slashed. I bet most businesses the size of mine feel the same way about their workers. We are tired of being exploited by the high costs and feeble coverage of the current non-system.

Here's my message to fellow small business owners, hardworking Americans, the main stream media, my representatives in Washington D.C. and President Obama:

Stop Assuming Small Business Sides with Corporate Big Greed.

And,

Stop Saying Small Business is Against Healthcare Reform.

The industry associations, even those we may belong to for very practical reasons, public relations campaigns, lobbyists and politicians that oppose healthcare reform don't speak for us, period!



Submitters Bio:

Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration caused the greatest tragedy of the space age based on Richard C. Cook's book "Challenger Revealed." He is a former Director of Public Information for Planned Parenthood of NYC. His website is: www.WordsWillNever.com

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