Printing Industries of America Member Testifies on Healthcare Reform
Pittsburgh, PA—Printing Industries of America member and president of Inland Press in Detroit, Michigan, Brad Thompson, testified before the House Committee on Small Business regarding healthcare reform and the need to consider common-ground solutions from a small-business perspective.
At the hearing, Thompson discussed the health care challenges both his company and other small printers face, including increasing costs for business owners as well as their employees. Thompson told the committee that Inland Press investigated raising co-pays for prescription drugs and doctor visits, but it was determined that these minor adjustments are not enough and real reform and solutions are now necessary.
"In 2007 we paid more in healthcare premiums than the printing company earned in profits, Thompson testified. "We're a publicly traded company, and this did not please the shareholders."
Thompson further commented on policy solutions that he asked the Committee and Congress to keep in mind as healthcare reform is considered. These included:
• Pooling: The idea of small companies pooling together to achieve greater scales of economy.
• Tax Credits: Providing tax credits to small businesses as an incentive to provide employee health benefits with consideration of the following: number of employees, wellness programs, and hours of work week.
• Increase Options, Competition, and Flexibility in the Healthcare Marketplace: Increased competition and products offered in the health care marketplace, resulting in flexibility and choice regarding which insurance best fits a printer's needs and budget.
Finally, Thompson urged caution over the costs of any government-mandated health insurance, stating, "Whether it would be state mandates, mandated minimum levels of coverage, or pay-or-play structures, there is a real concern about cost increases outweighing the noble goal of insuring more Americans. It also creates serious barriers to entry for very small and start-up printing companies."
"The cost of healthcare is a number-one concern of our members," says Lisbeth Lyons, vice president of government affairs for Printing Industries of America. "It's not a surprise when printers are currently spending approximately $6.6 billion per year on health insurance. We commend Chairwoman Velazquez, Ranking Member Graves, and members of the Committee for holding today's hearing and calling attention to the important issue of healthcare reform."