Business leaders voice concerns on health care reform

first_imgVermont business leaders and organizations today voiced concern over the advancement of H.202 the Health Care Reform bill, and the uncertainty it is causing many businesses.While businesses recognize and agree with Governor Shumlin and other legislative leaders that the rising cost of health care is unsustainable, the legislation as currently structured does nothing to alleviate fears that costs will be contained under the new system.Business leaders said they support the inclusion of the cost containment measures referenced in the legislation including payment reform, integrated delivery system and medical practice reform.  However, there are no cost estimates for the system or even estimated savings projected in the legislation.  Without a budget or a framework for financing, H.202 begins to reform a $5 billion health care system without full acknowledgement of the financing system.  Businesses across Vermont question whether the Administration and Legislature are building a sustainable health care system.  Financial sustainability is the very problem this legislation aims to correct. Business advocates urge the Legislature to address budget considerations and a financing mechanism in H.202.Ed Sawyer, President and CEO, SBE, Inc. in Barre explained, “As a business, especially one which is poised to grow and create jobs here in Vermont, we regularly forecast both our sales and expenses to create budgets many years in advance. The lack of detail provided in H. 202 creates a level of uncertainty that makes such growth difficult to plan and achieve.”Greg DiCarlo, from the The Shire Riverview Motel in Woodstock said, “The cost of health insurance has been the number one problem facing small businesses for more than 20 years. The status quo simply doesn’t work anymore.  We need health care that will lower cost, increase choice and provide real competition for private insurance, and this legislation fails to do any of that.”Ward Smyth, President, Turtle Creek Builders in Waitsfield said, “I fully agree that health care costs must be brought under control if Vermonters are to succeed in the future, but nothing in H.202 assures me that health costs, and the care provided will be substantially improved.  This is truly an important and vital conversation to have, but major components, cost, how it will be paid for, what the benefits package will provide, and how costs will truly be contained, are unfortunately absent.  In the end the system of delivery is irrelevant if we are unable to address the most fundamental crisis ‘ that of cost.’The business associations that joined together today include:·         Associated General Contractors of Vermont·         Associated Industries of Vermont·         Business Resources Services·         Green Mountain Dairy Cooperative·         Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Vermont·         National Federation of Independent Businesses/Vermont·         Vermont Chamber of Commerce·         Vermont Fuel Dealers AssociationVermont Forest Products AssociationVermont Ski Areas AssociationVermont Vehicle and Automotive Distributors AssociationMontpelier, VT / Tuesday, March 22, 2011 Montpelier, VT / Tuesday, March 22, 2011last_img