Central Valley businesses speak up

You could say that John Valentino’s timing is pretty darn good – or just maybe he’s got the ear of someone in Washington.

The day after Valentino published an opinion piece in the Fresno Bee regarding the importance of health reform to small business, President Obama used his weekly radio address Saturday to pretty much agree with him.

Perhaps the timing was just serendipity.

Either way, both men shared the view that the rising cost of insurance to small business is simply not sustainable – not for the small business owner, not for the employees, not for the community as a whole.

Valentino is co-owner of a landscaping firm in the Central Valley and he has strong beliefs about people taking personal responsibility for leading healthy and fulfilling lives. He also believes the whole workforce will be more stable and productive if employers are able to provide affordable health care. Embrace it as a business strategy; embrace it as the right thing to do – but do embrace it.

Especially in California, where the entrepreneur’s spirit runs high and small businesses are a good chunk of the economy, affordable health care is key to recovery and growth.

In his radio address, President Obama gave voice to the frustration of business people trying to get a new venture off the ground. “Many entrepreneurs can’t get financing to start a small business in the first place,” the president said. “And many more are discouraged from even trying because of the crushing costs of health care – costs that have forced too many small businesses to cut benefits, shed jobs or shut their doors for good.”

That’s the sound of small businesses — like Valentino’s in the Central Valley — being listened to.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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