News Release

Survey: Small businesses crushed by rising health costs

For Immediate Release

Maryland small business owners are being crushed by rising health care costs, and feel left out of the current health care debate in Washington, according to a new report released by Maryland Public Interest Research Group in front on Carma’s Café on St Paul street in, Charles Village today.

“In this economy,” said Maryland Public Interest Research Group’s field organizer Nicolas Green, “health care costs are killing small business owners like Carma Halterman. But instead of leading on this important issue, the national Chamber of Commerce and other inside-the-beltway groups are playing politics with a crucial issue and actively impeding reform efforts.”

The new report, The Small Business Dilemma, makes clear that small business owners, like Carma Halterman, need health care reform.

“More than 50% of uninsured Americans are small business owners and their employees, we’re caught in that trap. There is no financially viable option,” Halterman said.

Carma Halterman’s situation reflects the situations many of the 343 small business owners and managers around the country that took the survey of small businesses by U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. The result, "The Small Business Dilemma," finds that the costs and administrative hassles associated with offering insurance weigh particularly heavily on small businesses.

According to the 14-page report:

  • Small businesses value health insurance as a key to business success because it allows them to attract better employees.
  • 78% of small business owners surveyed who do not offer coverage would like to do so but face high affordability barriers

The health reforms being proposed in Congress will “rein in health costs for small businesses and save jobs,” Green concluded.

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