Thursday, October 8, 2009

Who's Talking for Us?

Several companies are bowing out of the US Chamber of Commerce. The publicized disagreement is about the Chamber's position on global warming. I know how they feel. I'm inundated daily with position stances about health care reform by the US Chamber, the state's Chamber, National Association of Manufacturers, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, etc. I'm not sure I can agree with their position(s).

What I find in common with most of those positions is that they're against change. They don't know what exactly the legislative proposals will do. They know what they won't do. They know what they don't like about them. They hardly ever describe what they do like about the proposals. Talk about curmudgeonness!

Recently, I had a chance to interact with a US Chamber representative. He described what they didn't like. I asked what they are offering US businesses who are struggling with the cost of health care. I asked what the Chamber's counter-proposal is, that would save my business money. HR 3200, one of the health care reform proposals in the US legislature, has a "penalty" of 8% of payroll (read: 8% of payroll, not 8% of profits or sales) if a company doesn't provide health insurance to its employees. In our case, 8% of payroll would be an expense reduction. Thus, I wondered how the US Chamber planned to save me money, when the House of Representatives is offering me an option to cut my expense nearly in half (worth nearly a quarter of a million dollars). Where's the US Chamber's counter-proposal to help me as much? Or NAM's or NFIB's or anyone else's?

Hey, guys, don't just tell me what's wrong! Don't just give me something to complain about! Give me something to cheer! Give me some prevention, some control on costs, some decent coverage, some reduced insurance premiums, some way to reduce utilization of expensive treatments, procedures, prescriptions!

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