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Cost of Labor

I want to start a discussion about the cost of labor. Can we share some info on that in this forum? We've all been impacted by continuing discounts on glass, but the new NAGS formula is supposed to compensate us "fairly" for labor. Well, my cost of labor has increased since the new rates were posted a year ago, especially considering the insurance industry desire for upgraded training and credentials of techs, higher workers comp, higher wages to retain good techs, etc. Could we all agree on this point, and try to get some momemtum from our trade associations or this forum to petition the insurers to give us a higher wage reimbursement? This might be one way we can all agree on challenging the the downward price spiral.

I'll start it by telling you all that my direct tech costs have increased by 5% since last February. How about you?

Re: Cost of Labor

Contact: Terry Hill or Amy Bannon

Small Business Health Plans
Passed by Senate Committee

WASHINGTON, DC March 16 --- The International Franchise Association today commended the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for its passage of legislation that would allow small businesses to band together to offer health insurance coverage.

IFA, the nation's oldest and largest association representing franchised businesses, noted that the measure, formerly known as association health plans, was approved with no attached amendments as part of S.1955, the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act. The association said Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) led the way for all stakeholders to come together and work through their differences.

IFA, a member of a diverse coalition of more than 160 groups assembled to advance the idea, has long advocated for association health plans. Franchises generate jobs for more than 18 million Americans and account for 9.5 percent of the nation's private-sector economic output.

"With the rising number of uninsured workers and constantly-spiraling costs of healthcare, America's small businesses must be allowed to pool their risk and create economies of scale so they can provide coverage for their employees and their families," said IFA Pres. Matthew Shay. "The committee's proactive response in passing this bill is an immense step towards solving this major problem for millions of small businesses, hundreds of thousands of which are franchised establishments."

Small-business health plan legislation was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July. With support from President Bush and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), S. 1955 is tentatively scheduled to be considered by the full Senate during early May. IFA plans to maintain its efforts to aid approval of the bill, which, if passed, would move to a conference session with the House-passed version, H.R. 525.

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Ed. note: for additional information about small-business health plans and the franchising sector, visit

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