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Hundreds of Activists & Small Business Owners Confront AHIP at National Conference


Small Business Owners Detail Choice Between Jobs and Health Coverage, Call For Reform, and Attempt to Meet With Insurance Lobby CEO While Hundreds Rally in Solidarity Outside Industry Event

Eight small business owners from around the country appeared at the same hotel as the health insurance lobby’s annual Fall Forum conference in downtown Chicago today. Joined by Wendell Potter, ex-CEO of Cigna, the business owners recounted stories of exorbitant private health insurance costs forcing them to chose between the growth of their livelihoods— including keeping and expanding jobs— and their ability to afford necessary health care for them and their employees. Outside the Downtown Renaissance Hotel, hundreds of supporters gathered in solidarity, holding large signs with messages like “HEALTH REFORM = JOBS.”

Prior to their arrival in Chicago, the business owners — who hail from Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, and New Hampshire— sent a letter to Karen Ignagni, the President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), requesting she meet with them to hear their stories in person. The letter was delivered Friday morning and is included below.

Even though Ms. Ignagni’s group was meeting at the hotel just down the hall from the very people harmed by the companies she represents, she ignored the small business owners’ request.