Health Care Top Priority for Small Business Owners

October 1, 2007 ( - The number of small business owners offering health care coverage to their employees was stagnant at 71% from last year to this year with nearly the same percentage (69%) saying that such coverage was an important employee benefit, according to a recent survey.

The survey of nearly 630 small business owners by American Express also found that one in five small business owners (21%) say a presidential candidate’s stance on health care will most sway their decision on who to vote for, followed closely by homeland security (19%).

Nearly 80% of employers would consider a proposed policy decision that would make health care more accessible and 65% support the solution to “create purchasing cooperatives for small businesses to make heath insurance affordable.”

Other results of the health care survey include:

  • 58% support a plan that would “ensure every child in the U.S. has health insurance” or “provide tax credits to low income workers to help pay for health care” (54%).
  • 42% support the proposed solution of a “universal health care system” (42%), or an “additional tax on tobacco and alcohol” to fund health care (38%).
  • 75% say health care coverage will be a problem for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

More than half (55%) of business owners report they are on track to save the funds they need for retirement, and six out of ten say they are worried about their ability to save for the retirement they want, on par with last fall (60% vs. 57%).