Saturday, May 6, 2006

Cox: Leading on Healthcare

Somewhat muted by other events, Cathy Cox recently released a major policy statement, Leading Georgia Forward, that lays out bold, well thought out initiatives in healthcare, education and economic development. There are many appealing ideas in this New Covenant, but one in particular caught my eye.

You see, both my husband and I are both self employed, small business owners. As such, our cost for "off the rack" health insurance is substantial, and we often discuss the fact that many people simply could not afford what we have to pay each month for a high-deductible product. And that's with both of us being healthy. We are by no means the exception. We have friends who own businesses and cannot obtain health insurance because of pre-existing medical conditions. We worry about what will happen as we get older, and premiums rise. Will be able to afford what will likely be our largest single monthly expense?

Within a more expansive proposal to make health insurance accessible to all Georgians, Cathy has a proposal that would address this issue for small business. Doing so would not only be good public health policy, but it would also be good economic policy, encouraging entrepreneurship. This sounds like a really, really good idea to me. Here's what Cathy has to say:

Provide Affordable Insurance for Small Business Workers and the Self -Employed

Rising healthcare premiums have forced small business owners into a corner where they must weigh providing basic coverage at the expense of their bottom line. The self -employed are often denied access to affordable high-quality coverage. Cathy Cox knows that small business owners and employees, and the self -employed, are a critical component of Georgia's economic infrastructure and she is committed to providing affordable access to healthcare with tax incentives and a market -based solution that isn't crippled by bureaucracy.
As Governor, Cathy Cox will create a Small Business Purchasing Pool to al low small businesses and the self -employed to band together to negotiate and purchase affordable health insurance. Cox will ensure quality coverage by requiring a minimum level of benefits, emphasizing coverage for preventive care and the same premium levels regardless of age or condition. Everyone will have the choice of at least two plans, and no one will be excluded from coverage because of pre -existing conditions.
For small businesses that invest in their workforce and pay for health insurance for all their employees through the Purchasing Pool, Cox will provide a 50 percent tax credit to make it more affordable.
If I were a-political and still self-employed, Cathy would probably get my vote for this initiative alone.

1 comment:

Button Gwinnett said...

Yet another interesting idea from the Cox. I like the idea of a small business pool as well as to have a choice within the plan. It seems like there are so many things going against small business owners today as compared to 10 years ago. I'm glad that Cox is looking out for a segment of society that is so important - small business owners.

Despite the rhetoric and the tactics designed to take the public's attention off of them, this is a campaign about issues. Voters are going to like what they hear from Cox.