A Small Employer's Campaign to Reform Health Care

Like most business owners, BusinessWeek reader Mike Draper is concerned about balancing his employees’ health benefits with his business’ expenses. In 2006, after paying out of pocket at a county hospital, he voiced his own sentiment by designing a shirt for his Des Moines, Iowa-based custom screen-printing company that reads: “America: Only the Insured Survive.” His company, SMASH, which he expects to top $1 million in gross sales this year for the first time, pays 100% of the health insurance premiums for his seven employees working more than 30 hours a week. Right now, Draper says, “they’re all unmarried 20-somethings, but in five years, when everyone needs family policies, we might be in a little bit of trouble.”

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