Chanber Helps Host Healthcare Roundtable

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Chamber Helps Host
Healthcare Roundtable



“Federal issues are the domain of others and state policy is the singular focus of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry.”  That sentiment worked until this year when the new administration in Washington DC started major policy debates that could bring severe hardship on business in South Dakota. 


One of these major proposals is healthcare reform.  To keep in touch with  developments in Washington, and to learn about the impact on state policy, the Chamber hosted a roundtable discussion with Senator Thune and Governor Rounds (pictured). 


Senator John Thune and Governor Mike Rounds listen to business leaders at a roundtable hosted by the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and South Dakota Retailers Association.


The event featured Chamber Board member Tony Bour (Showplace Wood Products) plus Paul Van Bockern (WR Restaurants Inc.) and Mike Cole (Lewis Drug).  These business leaders discussed concerns that health related costs will increase and that private sector health plans will be forced to pay for expanded federal insurance; or will simply be driven out of business because they cannot compete with a government plan that ignores real costs for benefits offered.


Approximately 170 million people get their health coverage through employers.  The Chamber has joined voices with the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers to keep the employer-delivered system strong.


The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry always reminds the congressional delegation that healthcare is only one of the threatening proposals.  Increased energy costs resulting from “cap and trade” policy aimed at carbon emissions, increased labor costs (mainly resulting from inflexible workplace rules) resulting from “card check” and the job losses that tighten credit cards rules are all adding to the hardship of the current recession.  Overall, most Chamber board members wouldn’t mind returning to dealing more with the in-state fights.  





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