WASHINGTON - A recent survey shows that 93 percent of Americans support legislation allowing small businesses to join together to purchase health insurance, giving them the same power to negotiate prices enjoyed by large corporations.

The survey was conducted March 1-3, 2004, by American Viewpoint, a public opinion research firm, on behalf of the Federation of American Hospitals. American Viewpoint surveyed 1,000 registered voters on health care issues and congressional proposals to address those issues. Entitled "A National Survey on the Health Care Insurance Issue," the survey also found that most Americans believe that the high cost of health insurance is the most significant problem with the health insurance system today.

"Association health plans allow bona fide trade associations like ABC to offer health insurance plans to their members, across state lines," said Kirk Pickerel, president and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). "By offering a uniform plan to all members of an association, the bargaining power and economies of scale would save small employers significant premium dollars."

Publication date: 04/26/2004