A SMALL-BUSINESS lobbying group in Trenton has launched a new Web site, SaveNewJerseyJobs.com, where voters can look at legislative candidates' voting records on issues that affect employers. In that same period, firms with 1,000 or more workers declined 6.2 percent, or 23,756 workers, according to an analysis of government data by Rutgers University economist Dm Hughes.
Trenton N.J. lobbyists bring health care battle to the capital Associations for lawyers, doctors, Christina Mazza hospitals among voices in debate By Andrew KitchenmAn It Is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the nation’s health care policy, and trenton business associations haven’t missed the opportunity to weigh in. as Congress prepares to move forward on changes to the health care system, New Jersey doctors and hospitals — as well as the thou- sands of employers who bear much of the cost of health insurance — have spent recent weeks working directly to sway representatives, and indirectly through national associations. the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce has been among the most vocal, cofounding a national organization, Employers for Quality Health Care, intended to make sure that state employers’ voices are heard on the issue. Chamber of Commerce President Joan Verplanck said the state chamber communi- cates constantly with those in other states. she said they learn from one another, and have paid special attention to Massachusetts, the first state with a health-care mandate. “It turned out to be much more expensive than anybody anticipated,” Verplanck said. Verplanck said chamber members aren’t Joan Verplanck, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, says the chamber is constantly talking with other states to learn about various forms of health care. against reform, and support changes to make private insurance more accessible and afford- In order to make more of an impact pitals, with nine hospitals closing since 2007. able, but would prefer incremental changes to Inside nationally, the society has joined with a del- U.s. Rep. Rush Holt (D-West Windsor) a sweeping plan. n Insurers, hospitals blast public option, egation of doctors’ groups from states south of said he has heard from small-business owners Michael T. Kornett, chief executive of but some small businesses welcome it. New Jersey. about health insurance for years, and has met in the Medical society of New Jersey, said the Spotlight, Page 19 On the other hand, the New Jersey Hospi- recent weeks with business people and doctors. society is in constant contact with the ameri- tal association has used a variety of tactics to He said it’s hard to generalize about the can Medical association about developments New Jersey is unique in that its doctors get its message out, from members attending range of opinions business owners hold, but in Washington. tend to be in small groups or be solo practitio- town hall meetings hosted by congressmen in most are concerned about the cost of insur- While Kornett is particularly concerned ners, compared with other states, where more the state to lobbying through its staff member ance. He said the House bill would address about seeing tort reform included in the leg- doctors practice in large groups. in Washington, D.C., according to spokeswom- this by allowing small and sole-proprietor islation, he said the state has about 19,000 “anything that’s imposed on the small an Kerry McKean Kelly. businesses to join pools to receive group practicing doctors and 75,000 lawyers: “You group, that adds to their overhead, just about she said a particular concern is the possibil- insurance rates. u can see how the deck really gets stacked.” puts them out of business,” he said. ity of seeing lower reimbursement rates for hos- E-mail to email@example.com Business advocate puts economy at center of election will have a very slow recovery; consumers are still ret
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