PIA Member Testifies Before House Committee on Health Care Reform

PITTSBURGH—June 3, 2009—Printing Industries of America member and president of Inland Press in Detroit, MI, Brad Thompson, testified today before the House Committee on Small Business regarding health care reform and the need to consider common-ground solutions from a small-business perspective.

At the hearing, Thompson discussed the health care challenges both his company and other small printers face, including increasing costs for business owners as well as their employees. Thompson told the committee that Inland Press investigated raising co-pays for prescription drugs and doctor visits, but it was determined that these minor adjustments are not enough and real reform and solutions are now necessary.

“In 2007 we paid more in health care premiums than the printing company earned in profits, Thompson testified. “We’re a publicly traded company, and this did not please the shareholders.”

Thompson further commented on policy solutions that he asked the Committee and Congress to keep in mind as health care reform is considered. These included:

Pooling: The idea of small companies pooling together to achieve greater scales of economy.

Tax Credits: Providing tax credits to small businesses as an incentive to provide employee health benefits with consideration of the following: number of employees, wellness programs, and hours of workweek.

Increase Options, Competition, and Flexibility in the Health Care Marketplace: Increased competition and products offered in the health care marketplace, resulting in flexibility and choice regarding which insurance best fits a printer’s needs and budget.

Finally, Thompson urged caution over the costs of any government-mandated health insurance, stating, “Whether it would be state mandates, mandated minimum levels of coverage, or pay-or-play structures, there is a real concern about cost increases outweighing the noble goal of insuring more Americans. It also creates serious barriers to entry for very small and start-up printing companies.”

“The cost of healthcare is a number-one concern of our members, says Lisbeth Lyons, vice president of government affairs for Printing Industries of America. “It’s not a surprise when printers are currently spending approximately $6.6 billion per year on health insurance. We commend Chairwoman Velazquez, Ranking Member Graves, and members of the Committee for holding today’s hearing and calling attention to the important issue of health care reform.”

Printing Industries of America will continue to advocate on behalf of its members as the health care debate unfolds.

For more information about health care reform and its effect on the printing industry, visit www.printing.org/governmentadvocacy or contact Printing Industries of America’s Government Affairs department at 202-730-7970.

About Bradley L. Thompson:
In 1985, Bradley L. Thompson II went to work at the Detroit Legal News Co. working in the commercial printing division, Inland Press. In 1991, after working in a wide variety of positions, he was named publisher of The Detroit Legal News. In 1995, Thompson was named President and CEO of the corporation and then Chairman of the company in 2004.

Thompson is the current Chair of the Labor Policy Committee of the Printing Industries of America. He is also a past president of Printing Industries of Michigan and currently serves on the board of the Printing Industries of America. He is a past president of the American Court and Commercial Newspaper Association and currently serves as a director of the Public Notice Resource Center in Washington, DC.

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