Small Business Advocacy Council Announces Introduction of Health Care Cooperative Legislation!

SBAC Co-op Legislation story on The Wall Street Journal! Excited to see the efforts of the SBAC, and our coalition members, progressing. The time in now to pass legislation allowing small and mid-market businesses to use the power of critical mass to stabilize health insurance rates and enhance transparency. Check it out!

CHICAGO, IL, Feb 09, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — 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

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