Governor-Elect Dino Rossi, Transition Office, State of Washington

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Forward Washington REFORM TWO:

Help create jobs and make health care more available for families and communities by inviting health care providers to come back to Washington state with health care plans that are flexible, affordable and tailored to the desires of consumers.

Hard Facts:

  • A recent poll of small business owners who belong to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) found 65 percent of all members provided health care benefits to all their employees in 1993; only 47 percent do now-and the number is dropping.
  • Nationwide, in 2003, 53 percent of all workers at small firms were covered by company insurance. This year, that number dropped by three percentage points so only about half are now covered.
  • While 90 percent of small businesses would like to provide health care benefits for their employees, cost is the number one reason businesses don't.
  • A dozen years ago, consumers had more than 20 insurance companies to choose from…today, there are only three.

Real people:

  • Chuck Mott owns the commercial-cleaning business Innovac in Seattle. Many of Chuck's employees have been with the company for 10 or 15 years-and for the first time in all those years he has to ask them to help pay for their health insurance premiums. "They've made a commitment to me and I feel like I need to make a commitment to them, but it's a struggle," he says. "We can't continue to offer all these things and still be viable."

Concrete solutions:

  • Continue work on small group insurance reform so workers and their employers can purchase affordable plans that cover the health care services they really need.


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