Small-Business Group Joins Effort To Push Health Care in Election
The National Federation of Independent Business on Thursday will announce plans to join Divided We Fail -- a campaign launched by AARP, the Service Employees International Union and the Business Roundtable that seeks to focus the 2008 presidential election on health care and financial security issues, the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to the Times, the "strange bedfellows are trying to forestall the kind of political polarization that doomed" health care reform in the 1990s, but the "new alliance does not mean that its members are united behind one specific approach."
AARP CEO Bill Novelli said, "There are lots of policy ideas. What is missing right now is political will." He added, "If we get to the point of disagreement, we'll arm-wrestle later."
NFIB President Todd Stottlemyer said, "Access to affordable health insurance is the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 issue for small business across the United States," adding, "For us, not to be at the table in any serious conversations makes no sense. There really can't be a national debate about health care unless small business has a seat at the table."
In addition, Stottlemyer said, "We have an obligation to at least actively listen to one another and engage with one another, instead of talking past one another or at one another" (Alonso-Zaldivar, Los Angeles Times, 11/1).