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How businesses can improve health care

As a veteran of the business world, I certainly understand why many business owners are apprehensive about the health care system. They have enough on their plates simply dealing with the day-to-day challenges of a slowly recovering economy, meeting payroll, making a profit and keeping the lights on.

Businesses already pay a bulk of health care expenses through their employees' health insurance premiums — which, as we all know too well, continue to rise year after year. According to Colorado's Insurance Commissioner, the average insurance premium rose by 22 percent between 2007 and 2009, with only a slight decrease in 2010.

No one likes the prospects of higher health insurance premiums, a growing share of GDP devoted to health care costs and an increasingly unhealthy workforce. Yet, by thinking of health care as an “investment” rather than an “expense,” Colorado business leaders can help ensure a healthier workforce in the short-term while doing their part to the health care system in the long-term. A few suggestions for meeting that challenge:

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