Is Healthcare reform plan too little too late? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Is Healthcare reform plan too little too late?

February 1, 2008

Albany - Governor Perdue says a plan to introduce healthcare reform legislation will make it easier for more Georgians to get insurance benefits through high deductible health plans. A small business owner we spoke to says the plan is too little, and way too late. He had to pull benefits for his employees because of a huge increase in premiums and says a small tax break just won't be enough to bring those benefits back.

Some would call Nick Henderson lucky.  He has health insurance coverage. "$685 a month." "For your family?" "Me and her. Me and my wife." "Just the two of you?" "Yes," he said.

Fortunately for Nick, his wife's boss picks up half the bill, but his boss, Jesse Grimsley, no longer can even offer health insurance it just got too expensive.  "As everybody knows, health insurance has super inflated. Not just inflated, compared to everything else, it's super inflated," he said.

Grimsley owns Sprigger's Choice. A small Dawson business of about nine employees, that makes planting equipment. He says a plan to give small business owners a tax credit of $250 per employee simply won't cut it. "I'm not sure if too little too late describes it," he said.  "Maybe it's too little and absolutely too late."

Henderson says it's hardest on his co-workers with kids who have to pay out of pocket every time there's a trip to the doctor. "It takes out from what they earn here at the shop," he said, "here at work and have to put it on medical bills takes food off the table or any other expenses you have."

Grimsley says he thinks the health care crisis will eventually have to hit rock bottom before it can bounce back to a shape that will benefit everyone. "It seems to me that the system is almost going to have to completely breakdown before we can build it back up again so that everybody can enjoy healthcare insurance that are provided out there." In order to keep his employees in good working order here.

The healthcare reform legislation would remove state and local taxes from premiums, and would allow people to deduct premiums from state income taxes.

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