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Health of a Nation

The debate rages on about the cure for America's rising health insurance costs.

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This story appears in the March 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Entrepreneurs agree that the rising cost of health insurance is one of the biggest problems they face. According to a study by research firm Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC, the average health-plan cost per employee rose by more than 10 percent in 2003. Costs have risen so much that some entrepreneurs are not insuring themselves or their workers.

But while everyone agrees that health insurance costs are skyrocketing, there is little agreement about the best ways to make health care more affordable for small employers. Rep. Nydia Velazquez and Rep. Rick Renzi see drastically different solutions to the health-care crisis. Velazquez, a Democrat representing New York's 12th District, is the ranking minority member on the House Small Business Committee; Renzi, a Republican representing Arizona's 1st District, founded three small businesses before entering Congress.

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