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Health Care in CO: A Drag on the Biz Bottom-Line?

April 16, 2009

Pueblo - Colorado small business owners report feeling trapped by the modern realities of health insurance. Complaining about rising costs and shrinking coverage, many are joining the push for health care reform and today plan what they are calling a "mini marcha" in Pueblo.

Bob Montoya, owner of Cedar Ridge Landscaping in Pueblo, says most of his employees can't afford the offered group insurance plan, but his company still pays $36,000 a year to insure two families and one individual employee.

"We had to take a less-expensive plan with fewer benefits and the price is still costly. It just seems like you're paying a lot and you're not getting anything out of it."

Montoya says most of his employees wish they could afford insurance, but are instead having to go without.

"God forbid anything happen to them seriously. They'd have to make arrangements with the hospital to make their payments."

Montoya says he and his employees would prefer paying more in taxes for health care reform than for an insurance policy with shrinking benefits.

"They would understand where that tax comes from and I think they'd feel better knowing that they have health insurance for their families."

Critics of the types of health care reform being discussed nationally say the cost could hurt the economy and would be unfair to private insurers, but President Obama has called fixing the health care system an important part of economic recovery. Montoya and hundreds of others will take their "mini marcha" to the offices of Senator Bennet and Congressman Salazar where they plan to deliver over one thousand postcards demanding “Health Care for America Now!”

The Marcha (Spanish for March) starts at the parking lot of 215 S. Victoria Avenue at 3:30 p.m.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO