Small businesses are among the groups hit hardest and left most vulnerable in our current health insurance system. Yet, the small business community has been almost uniformly typecast as down on reform. So goes the conventional wisdom. But is it true?
This is not solely an academic question. Where small business stands on health care is critically important to the prospects for meaningful reform in 2009. As the debate over reform heats up, a whole lot of people – from Members of Congress to the media to the public – will be looking to hear from small business owners to find out where they stand on health care.
Rather than stand around and pontificate about what small business owners are thinking about health reform, we decided to go out and ask them. To get a beat on small business owners’ priorities, we conducted a survey project in 2008 where organizers in twelve states around the country went door to door, got face to face with local small business owners, and surveyed them about their experiences with health insurance and their perspectives on different reform proposals.