Tom Lochner, executive director of the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association, representing state growers and their small business needs, today issued the following statement in response to Governor Doyle’s commitment to address the high cost of health insurance for small businesses, as outlined in his State of the State Address:
“The Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association is pleased to pledge to work together with Governor Jim Doyle and his Administration on real health care reform in Wisconsin. The escalating costs of health care have made it more of a challenge for our growers to provide comprehensive, affordable health coverage for their families and the families of their employees.
“Reforms that expand access and hold down costs can help provide much-needed relief to small businesses and in doing so support job creation that drives the state economy. In these times of spiraling health care costs, we need a plan that will offer lower costs and a variety of options for the 240 cranberry growers in this state.
“Together, we need to act and pursue reforms that combine innovations and ideas from both political parties. We pledge to support changes that level the playing field and ease the burden on small businesses and provide competition, simplicity and choice for businesses throughout the state.
“We believe that we should work to create a stable market for small group health insurance by allowing small businesses to harness our combined resources and create a larger risk pool. All of us must work together to find health care solutions that will allow employees to choose a health insurance plan that fits their needs at a price they and their employers can afford.
“We pledge our commitment to work with Governor Doyle and his Administration to develop a comprehensive health care reform package that will provide relief for small business owners across the state.”