Friday, July 17, 2009

"Small Businesses Need Health Care Reform"

Dan Hannaher, 56, is from Fargo, ND. He employs 22 at his office furnishings business, Hannaher’s, Inc. and served as chairman of North Dakota’s state Democratic Party from 1995 to 1997. We asked him if you would write a guest post for the OFA blog the importance of health care reform to small businesses, and he graciously agreed to.

I’ve operated a small family business in Fargo, North Dakota, for over 30 years. We help people work more effectively by providing quality office environments to businesses throughout eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. For years, I’ve taken pride in being able to provide my employees with good, substantial health insurance.

Lots of people think health care is a just a question of dollars and cents for a business owner like me. But they’re wrong; it’s so much more than that. Health care is the foundation of the employee/employer relationship – it’s a way for me to demonstrate my commitment to my staff and the value they provide. I want to be able to ensure that the people who work for me, and their families, are taken care of and have what they need.

We’re blessed with great health care providers who are highly skilled and caring. Their quality is top notch. But the ways in which we insure affordable access to these systems of care is fractured. Promises to control costs keep coming up short. In the last five years, our health insurance costs have gone up 50 percent! My employees are paying higher premiums for fewer services, and coupled with the economic recession our firm can't bear any more rate increases in the employer share of our pact.

President Obama’s commitment to health care reform is one of the reasons why I supported his candidacy, and it’s the reason I’m working with Organizing for America now. My business and my employees literally can’t afford to wait another year for health care reform.

On Thursday, Dan participated in a press conference call about the importance of health care reform to small businesses (listen to an audio recording of the call).

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