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Another go at health care reform

John Dimsdale Mar 12, 2008


Doug Krizner: Fifteen years ago, then first lady Hillary Clinton tried to reform the nation’s health care system. Back then, the National Federation of Independent Business played a leading role in squelching her plan.

Today, that same group representing 350,000 small businesses is calling for comprehensive federal health care reform. John Dimsdale reports from Washington.

Louise: This was covered under our old plan.

Harry: Aw yeah, that was a good one, wasn’t it?

John Dimsdale: Remember the TV ads where Harry and Louise sat around their kitchen table, criticizing the Clinton Administration’s managed competition plan for health care?

Announcer: The government may force us to pick from a few health care plans designed by government bureaucrats.

Louise: Having choices we don’t like is no choice at all.

Those ads were paid for in part by the NFIB. Today, the group launches a campaign to urge the federal government to try again.

The federation’s president, Todd Stottlemyer, says health insurance premiums have risen 129 percent since 2000, and small businesses have reached the breaking point.

Todd Stottlemyer: We think the momentum is very strong, because the problem has worsened considerably in the last 15 years. We think the time has come to take action now.

Stottlemyer says small businesses want access to larger insurance pools, so risks can be spread and premiums reduced. Still, the group opposes the government mandates favored by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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