Businesses Can't Wait for Washington

Stew Leonard's stores have starting holding in-house health screenings, and even offered incentives for employees to get annual checkups.

Every day Washington drags out the health care debate, the American economy pays. Health care costs at Stew Leonard's - a Connecticut supermarket chain - have jumped 14 percent in the past year:

Jill Leonard Tavello can't wait for Washington to solve this problem.

Tavello said the Stew Leonard's storeshave started holding in-house health screenings for their 2000 employees. They're offering them incentives to get annual checkups.

"If you get a physical at the beginning of every year, we'll give you $250 to put towards your deductible" Tavello said.

"This isn't just a health issue, it's a business issue," Mason said.
"It's a business issue," Tavello said.

Health insurance premiums for employers skyrocketed 131 percent in the past decade.

As business pours more profits into health care, Richard Quinn said, "There's nothing left to hire qualified employees. There's nothing left to go out and market the business."

According to one survey, every 10 percent increase in healthcare costs the economy more than 120,000 jobs.

"Health care is broken," said Harris Rosen "It's not working. It's too expensive."

Rosen runs a medical center that serves 4,500 people - all employees of his hotel business. Rosen, who owns 7 hotels around Orlando, grew so frustrated with the system that he set up his own primary care clinic. The price: $12 million a year. It's about half, he says, what it would cost him in a traditional insurance plan.

"If you take our savings and extend it to 200 million people who are working, now you're looking at savings approaching a trillion dollars," Rosen said.

As Washington tries to write a new prescription for healthcare, American business says it can't afford to be left in the waiting room.


  • Anthony Mason
    Anthony Mason

    CBS News senior business and economics correspondent; Co-host, "CBS This Morning: Saturday"