“Bristling at Health Plan to Cover Early Retirees” (“The Work-Up” series, news article, Sept. 9) pegs health care coverage for early retirees as exclusively a labor issue. In fact, this is an issue for all Americans.
Small Business Majority, a national nonprofit, is working for America’s 27 million small businesses and small-business owners.
Today, small businesses provide 75 percent of all net new jobs and employ 52 percent of the private-sector work force. What hurts small businesses hurts America’s economy. Not only are the majority of small-business owners between 55 and 64 years old — a precarious window for personal health care coverage — but they also face skyrocketing health care costs, which is hindering their ability to provide high-quality coverage to their employees.
Our research has shown that an average of 86 percent of small-business owners cite affordability as the reason they do not offer health care to their employees, while an average of 68 percent of small-business owners believe that health care reform is needed to help fix the economy.
The biggest problem facing America’s small businesses and America’s economy is unavailable, unaffordable health care. Emphasis on health care coverage for people between 55 and 64 is not just good for labor, it’s good for the economy.