Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Health Insurance Cooperatives/ Small Business California Fundraiser

The new buzz words in the health debate is Health Insurance Cooperatives. It appears that a public health plan is facing serious political problems and President Obama seems to be backing away from requiring a public health plan to be part of any major health reform.
What is a Cooperative- A health insurance cooperative is a member owned nonprofit group. It would provide its members with health insurance options. Cooperatives could be formed at a National, State or local level.
Senator Kent Conrad has proposed this to compete with private insurers.
Broadly Senator Conrad’s plan would create a system in which government would offer seed money[$6 billion] to doctors, businesses and hospitals to form cooperatives. Eventually these coops would become self supporting. A temporary government board would help set up the coop which Conrad has suggested might be a national entity with state-level affiliates.
What do you think about? Is it good or bad for small business.
I get a lot of calls from the media on the health issue and I want to put together a list of small business owners around the state that will speak to this issue. Please let me know if you are interested. Be sure to include contact information and location

On Thursday Small Business California will be doing a fund raiser recognizing 25 years of small business leaders in SF. I have mentioned this before but it is really coming together with about 80 small business leaders attending. I believe SF is the only place in the country that has a Small Business Commission pat by the voters.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the sales tax inequity for one of our member. I said as a benefit to our members we will use Small Business California contacts in state government and with associations to get their issue addressed. I heard a couple of days ago that Betty Yee head of the Board of Equalization will be contacting me in the next couple of weeks to discuss this issue.
We have also garnered letters of support from the SF Chamber and the SF Chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association. I also want to recognize Barbara Kaufman who represents the governor in the Bay Area for delivering the letter to Betty Yee. I would appreciate your thanking her. You can just hi the reply all as her email is above.
We believe this could increase revenues to the state in the area of $1 billion and close an inequity for small business.
We are also in contact with the LA Times on this issue.. If you want a copy of the letter we have sent on this issue please contact me. When the governor and legislators or any government people ask you where they can get more revenues you can cite this.
Also this is a great example of what Small Business California can do for its members.

Scott Hauge
Small Business Califortnia

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