Protesters push Chamber for public option

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce meeting in Philadelphia on Friday served as a lightning rod for health care reform and other activists.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce meeting in Philadelphia on Friday served as a lightning rod for health care reform and other activists.

    Some of the protesters gathered outside the Loews Hotel in Center City took aim at the Chamber’s position – against the public option and having an employer mandate as part of health care reform. A Chamber spokesperson says the provisions would lower wages and kill jobs.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091030lfprotest.mp3]

    About 75 people waved signs and chanted in protest. But it’s the Chamber’s position on health care that brought out Ken Weinstein, who owns the Trolley Car Diner and Deli in Mt. Airy.

    Weinstein says, of his 60 employees, he can cover only a few of them. He says he supports health care reform because business owners have a responsibility to give health care coverage to their employees but right now it’s too expensive.

    Weinstein: We’re currently paying approximately $1000 a month for an employee with a family and approximately $350 if they’re single… it’s a matter of cost, we try to cover 100% of our employees, like we would like to we’d probably have to raise the price of a hamburgers to about $15 and we’d be out of business very quickly.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.