If you go ...
What: Health care roundtable with state legislators and policy experts
When: 5:30 p.m. March 30
Where: Hampton Inn and Suites, 377 Cedar Court, in Craig
— The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, call the Craig Chamber of Commerce at 824-5689 or email director Christina Oxley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We get feedback from our members all the time that rising health insurance costs are having a huge impact on them and their employees. It’s important that our elected officials hear those concerns and work with business to find the best solutions.”
— Christina Oxley, Craig Chamber of Commerce executive director
Employers have a lot on their plates, particularly in a down economy.
In addition to managing the books, meeting payroll, and ensuring customer service, many business owners around the country are questioning whether they can afford to provide health care benefits in the midst of rising insurance costs.
At 5:30 p.m. March 30, the Craig Chamber of Commerce and the Rocky Mountain Employers Health Alliance are hosting a health care roundtable at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 377 Cedar Court, in Craig.
The event is free and open to the public.
The roundtable will feature District 8 State Sen. Jean White, R-Hayden; House District 57 Rep. Randy Baumgardner, R- Hot Sulphur Springs; a regional representative from Congressman Scott Tipton’s office, R-Colo.; as well as health care policy experts from RMEHA and Colorado’s Health Benefit Exchange Board.
The event will provide local employers with the opportunity to express how health care polices at the state and federal level have affected their businesses, Craig Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christina Oxley said.
“We get feedback from our members all the time that rising health insurance costs are having a huge impact on them and their employees,” she said. “It’s important that our elected officials hear those concerns and work with business to find the best solutions.”
In addition to expressing their concerns, Oxley said employers would have the opportunity to brainstorm ideas and offer suggestions to RMEHA representatives for policy initiatives to reduce the cost of providing health benefits to employees.
“The objective is to have rich conversations with federal and state policy makers on the issue of health policy and the effect on Colorado businesses,” Oxley said.
Baumgardner said he is looking forward to the roundtable and believes it’s an excellent way to find out how Craig residents feel about government health care initiatives, like ObamaCare and state Senate Bill 11-200, the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act.
“It’s a great idea to have the roundtable so that we at the legislature can hear employer concerns and ideas to see if something can be done legislatively to help businesses with rising health care costs,” Baumgardner said. “Sometimes our job is to shut up and listen because there are really good ideas that come from individuals and businesses in the districts.”
Baumgardner said the General Assembly has already introduced legislation in recent sessions to give Colorado the ability to manage its own health care system by opening the state to more competition from health insurance companies.
But each bill, except for the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange Act, has fallen to partisan politics, Baumgardner said.
S.B. 11-200 created the COHBE Board to foster a competitive marketplace for health insurance providers.
“I didn’t support S.B. 11-200 because government-run health care is government-run health care regardless of whether it is at the state or federal level,” Baumgardner said.
In addition to the roundtable discussion, employers will be encouraged to participate in a RMEHA survey to provide various statistics to the COHBE Board.
Currently, the COHBE Board has been utilizing employer opinion data from outside of Colorado to establish a competitive market for health insurance providers.
The survey can be found at www.rmeha.com. A link to the survey will also be provided to Craig Chamber members, Oxley said.
For more information or to RSVP for the roundtable, call the Chamber at 824-5689 or email Oxley at email@example.com.
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