to small and medium sized businesses since 1997. Each year I see the plan design change slightly; there was higher co-pay, a split co-pay, higher drug card, two tier drug card, three tier drug card, and Hospital deductibles, in network deductibles. During this period the rates were rising. It was a challenge to bring a plan to the employer that was a slight increase over last year. Well things have changed, there are very few insurance carriers now offering the plans. The ones that do have raised the rates so much that a thirty percent increase over last year’s is the norm. I sit at my desk wondering what is happening, I have no options for the employer any longer, the rates go up, the plans keep offering less and less benefits. I do not see people utilizing the services less, what I see are companies forgoing the benefits all together. Is this what the insurance carriers want? Do they want to make it so the only people that take the insurance are the very ill and wealthy? What are employers supposed to do? Their employees think it is the employer that is reducing the coverage or lowering their contribution to raise the rates. I have no answers, all I have are questions. The most important one I have is what is Washington going to do to address these issues? The bickering between the Democrats and the Republicans and an ineffective President only delays and stalls the issue. Seems to me the Insurance and Drug companies are in control. In the end it is the American worker that is bearing the brunt of this problem and the final resolution is not even flicker of light at the end of a very dark and long tunnel.