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									health ‘Employers are beside themselves’                                                                            of Washington “that addresses the underlying         firm Mercer, which negotiates health plans for
                                                                                                                    reason why health coverage is hard to get, and       employers. speck said his clients have been hit
➤➤                Continued from page 18
                                                                                                                    that is because of the enormous cost of health       with premium increases of 20 percent, 30 per-
                                                                                                                    insurance.” He said he doubts Congress will          cent or even 40 percent this year; he’s advising
Kirschner, president of the new Jersey Busi-                      Kirschner said. “in a poor economy like this,     enact Medicare spending reductions to stem           them “to look to the marketplace for competi-
ness & industry association, who in recent                        they cannot absorb double-digit increases. and    the growth of health care costs: “there is no        tion,” since seeking competing quotes from
weeks has heard of an alarming surge in health                    it’s inexplicable, at a time when inflation is    political will — no matter what the bills say — to   other insurers “will often, but not always, result
insurance rates from members across the state,                    almost nonexistent. Businesspeople have no        dramatically cut or scale back Medicare.”            in a more favorable” price.
both large and small.                                             idea how they will handle this.”                        Adam Speck is health and benefits mar-               Jim O’Connor, managing director of CBIZ
     “employers are beside themselves,”                                 Kirschner said he sees nothing coming out
                                                               OneCallAd_R3:IAA-OneCall-Ad 10/29/09 12:10           ket leader 1for new Jersey for the consulting
                                                                                                                    PM Page                                                               ➤➤ See   HealtH on page 20

                 Nursing high premiums
                 The New Jersey business community
                 is tackling the state’s nurse shortage                                                                                              WANT
                 because “there’s a clear correlation be-
                 tween skilled nurses and good health
                 care,” said Dana Egreczky, senior vice                                                                                              BREAKTHROUGHS?
                 president for work force development
                 at the state Chamber of Commerce.
                       A decline in worker health means
                 higher health insurance premiums,
                 more absenteeism and lower produc-
                                                                                                                                                              WANT TO
                 tivity, egreczky said.
                       And of greater concern to the
                 nursing community is not the staffing
                 shortages, but the faculty ones: “right
                 now, we turn away 1,800 to 2,200
                 qualified students a year because we
                 don’t have enough faculty to teach
                                                                                                                                                                  WANT TO
                 them,” she said.                                                                                                                
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