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Brian Kelly: Small business owner
Brian Kelly: Small business owner
Brian and his wife, Mileah, both 35, live in Scottsdale, Ariz.
What I pay: $401 per employee
What they pay: $158 each
Deductible: $1,200

My father and I own a small insurance company with 12 employees, so we are just large enough to qualify for a group health insurance plan. But because we're a small group, the insurance company bullies us around.

They can raise rates disproportionately based on one of our employee's claims. Our rates spiked 32% this year because my father had a very expensive health issue last year. But his premium dropped 80% this year because he began to qualify for Medicare. So even though his condition didn't matter in a government-run plan, our insurance company raised our group rate because they consider him to be a risky member.

What I want fixed: I would like to see Congress provide better protection to small businesses from rate increases. There are no provisions for small businesses with 10 to 30 employees, and we make up a large part of businesses in the country. We have to offer benefits so we can attract talent. But insurance companies raise rates on small businesses at extravagant levels until we drop them. And there aren't many options to turn to. Insurers have unlimited control.

A government-run plan like the single-payer system is a way to get a large pool of people together and achieve the most balanced and fair rates for everyone. We could still pay the cost of health care as employers and it wouldn't be any more expensive than what we're paying now and would be more efficient.

NEXT: Laura LeRoy: Retired

Last updated October 15 2009: 6:29 PM ET
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