Rick Poore spent $61,000 in health insurance premiums last year for the employees of his Lincoln screen print and embroidery business.
Over the past 10 years, the premiums Poore helps pay for his employees' health insurance have gone up close to 120 percent, he said.
In early November, Poore joined a group of eight small business owners on a trip to Washington to try to persuade representatives and senators to support health care reform legislation.
"It'll put money back in the pockets of employers and employees," said Poore, who owns Design Wear.
He said he believes health care reform would put as much as $12,000 back in his pocket each year and up to $400 back in each of his employees' pockets.
He said soaring insurance premiums have prevented him from providing insurance to all of his 33 employees and from investing in his business to remain competitive [emphasis mine; Kevin Abourezk, "Small Business Owners Take up Health Reform Fight," Lincoln Journal Star, 2009.11.28].
And how do small business owners like Poore feel about the public option? Hannah Ledford, the Main Street Alliance's Nebraska director, interviewed 118 small business owners. She found 60% of them want Uncle Sam Insurance. 25% want only private insurance. 15% are undecided.
60%: these aren't raving liberal intellectuals Hedford visited with. These are local shop owners, good main street capitalists, saying straight capitalism can't solve the health coverage problem.
Take it from Main Street, Congress: help the economy recover by cranking up that public option!