This Issue's Theme: Health Care Issues October 10, 2008  
Editor's Note
It's quite possible that the health care system as we know it will change drastically in the next few years. The kind of change that might occur will depend in large part on who gets elected to the presidency and how supportive Congress is of a change. One candidate advocates a free enterprise system where people can purchase the coverage they need from the vendor with the best price, much like we purchase car insurance, and at least some of the costs will be offset with changes in the tax law. Another candidate visualizes a system where employers are required to either supply health insurance or pay into a public welfare system.

Where do you think the changes should be made? Is there another alternative besides the two options the candidates are suggesting? Click Post Comment at the bottom of today's lead story to add your thoughts.

Best regards,
Gail Perry, CPA
Managing Editor

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Small Business
Retirement Plans

Presidential candidates present positions on key health care issues

The Kaiser Family Foundation has added two new resources on its Web site detailing presidential candidates Sen. John McCain's and Sen. Barack Obama's stance on key health care issues, building upon's existing comparison of the candidates' health reform proposals. more >>
Lawmakers consider employer role in controlling obesity

As American waistlines expand, there's little surprise that this public health issue poses a challenge to the nation's employers. In some states, including New York and California, government regulators are stepping in to urge businesses to take action. more >>
Medical benefits top retirement as costliest employee benefit

Medically related benefits accounted for the largest share of employer benefit costs at 12.1 percent and retirement benefits followed at 10.4 percent, according to the 2007 Employee Benefits Study recently released by the United States Chamber of Commerce. Payments for vacation, holidays, and other paid time off resulted in 9.8 percent of employer benefit costs. more >>
Universal health care program approved in San Francisco

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week ruled that San Francisco's universal health care program, Healthy San Francisco, can continue because it does not violate federal regulation of employee benefit plans, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The ruling overturned a lower court decision that the Healthy San Francisco plan placed requirements on employers in violation of federal law. more >>
Treasury releases guidance helping soldiers keep health FSA funds

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service have issued Notice 2008-82, which protects reservists from losing funds in their health Flexible Spending Arrangement (health FSA) accounts after being called to active duty. more >>
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