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Health Care Reform Update

by Brenda Peluso

As you may have read in previous posts, I have been working with Senator Snowe and her staff to ensure that small nonprofit employers are included in any program that provides incentives to businesses that provide health care coverage for their employees.  In the big scheme of things – public option/no public option, individual mandate or not, cost controls, truth and fear tactics – our issue is important, but certainly not on the top of anyone’s radar.  As one staffer said, “We are putting out the big fires as fast as we can and starting to get to the little details that will make this a great bill.”

We believe that the Senator and her staff are committed to including a solution in the Senate Finance bill that will encourage all small businesses – nonprofits and for-profits – to provide health insurance for their employees.  The Senate Finance Committee has been working through the August Recess and will intensify this work when they all return to Washington DC in September.  At that point, we should have a better handle on what the Senate Finance Bill will and will not include.

In the meantime, the Coalition for Affordable Health Care has provided an excellent side-by-side comparison of the current House and Senate versions of health care reform.  This comparison does not include the Senate Finance Committee’s bill as it is not written yet.

For more background on nonprofits and health care reform, please read our earlier blog posting on this issue.

2 thoughts on “Health Care Reform Update

Thanks for this health care blog topic. There is no logical reason anymore to link health insurance with employment. Technology has allowed us to work much differently than we used to. People now may have several jobs, be self-employed, retired, or be unemployed. And of course health care premiums are very expensive and many small (ore even large) non profits have trouble finding the money to pay the premiums. Linking health insurance to employment is an old model. It doesn’t work anymore. We need to provide health insurance and health care to every person as a right and not a privilege. Whatever reform comes about, I fear this aspect will be overlooked.

Brenda Peluso says:

Very good point and one that I know has great appeal to a large number of people. I believe that the policy makers fear that switching away from an employer-based system would require too many people – who are happy with their health care – to make a change. And as we’ve seen – there is no shortage of fear around this debate out there.

I think you are correct in thinking that whatever emerges, employer-based plans will be part of the mix. I am hopeful however, that group plans through an employer will no longer be the only game in town as it really is now.

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