Vinehout introduces bill to help small businesses; introduces health care exchange plan

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Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) introduced her bill to make affordable health insurance available to small businesses and individuals through a health insurance exchange. Heath insurance was recently ranked as the most important challenge facing small business­

“It’s not surprising that business owners tell us that health insurance is the most important challenge facing their business. They’ve told us this for years,” said Sen, Vinehout. “What is surprising is the leaders of our state seem deaf to the number one concern of small business.”

Nearly 600 business owners responded to a recent survey from the Governor’s Office, titled “Wisconsin Regulatory Review Report 2013”. They rated health insurance, tied with ‘decreased demand’, as the most important challenge facing their businesses. Nearly 80% owned a business with 25 or fewer employees.

“My bill does two things for small businesses and others who buy insurance on their own,” said Vinehout. “First, it gives small coups the benefits of big coup buying power. Second, it. provides currently unavailable information so comparison shopping is much easier.”

Other states, including Minnesota, are working quickly to assist small business in finding affordable health insurance though insurance exchanges. However, die Walker Administration continues its inaction, The Governor returned federal funding allotted to create a state-based exchange, preferring instead to default health exchange decisions to Washington, D.C.

“We cannot afford further delay. Our small businesses cannot sustain higher health insurance costs. Wisconsin needs to create a state-based health insurance exchange or we risk being put at thither competitive disadvantage,” said Vinehout.