SOURCE: Small Business Advocacy Council

Small Business Advocacy Council

February 09, 2012 14:39 ET

Small Business Advocacy Council Announces Introduction of Health Care Cooperative Legislation

Launches Coalition for Cooperatives to Promote Small Business Support of Health Care Coops

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Feb 9, 2012) - The Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC) announced introduction of House Bill 3976, sponsored by Representative Karen May (D-Highwood), and Senate Bill 2885, sponsored by Senator Kwame Raoul, to authorize health care cooperatives in Illinois in an effort to stabilize health care costs for small business owners.

A health care cooperative (coop - consumer owned and operated plan) is a state-chartered, nonprofit, membership organization comprised of individuals and small employers joined together to operate as a health insurance issuer.

"The growth of small businesses and the economy continues to be undermined by the lack of affordable health care," said Elliot Richardson, SBAC President. "Too often small businesses are held hostage to large insurance companies imposing increasing or wildly-fluctuating rates without explanation or full disclosure of how their premium dollars are truly being spent."

The SBAC, a non-partisan, not-for-profit political organization, was established in 2010 to give small business owners, their employees and those with whom they conduct business with a voice in local, state and federal politics. The group represents more than 400 small businesses in the Chicagoland area.

Similar legislation sponsored by Representative May was passed by the Illinois House of Representatives in the previous session with overwhelming bi-partisan support, but was stalled in the Senate during veto session.

The SBAC recently launched the Coalition for Cooperatives, made up of business and consumer organizations, to promote small business support of health cooperatives across the state. While the Coalition continues to expand, current coalition members include:

  • The GOA
  • Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce
  • The Lake County Chamber of Commerce
  • The Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago
  • The Skokie Chamber of Commerce
  • The Highland Park Chamber of Commerce
  • The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce
  • The Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce
  • The Big Ooga
  • Illinois PIRG
  • Jewish B2B Networking
  • Local First Chicago
  • eWomenNetwork Chicagoland

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy both nationally and across the state, yet lack of control over excessive health care costs and negligible financial disclosure threatens to impede their livelihood," said Richardson. "Coalition members know how critical it is to obtain control over health care costs and options through the implementation of coops, and we are united in support of bringing cooperatives to Illinois."

Note: SBAC Spokespersons are available for interviews.

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