On Monday, April 27th, the Department of Health and Human Services released a new report entitled, "Helping the Bottom Line: Health Reform and Small Business". The study reveals that a large fraction of uninsured workers are in small businesses with nearly one-third of the uninsured – 13 million people – employees of firms with less than 100 workers. The report also states that fewer small businesses are offering insurance. From 2000 to 2007, the proportion of non-elderly Americans covered by employer-based health insurance fell from 66% to 61%, suggesting that much of this decline stems from small business. The percentage of small businesses offering coverage dropped from 68% to 59%, while large firms held stable at 99%. Additionally, the report shows that half of workers in small firms that do not offer health benefits are uninsured and that a third of such workers in firms with fewer than 50 employees obtain insurance through a spouse.
The report claims that reform is a top priority for small businesses and that nearly half of small business owners in a recent survey said that ‘making healthcare more affordable’ is the idea Washington should address first.