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Byline: David Robinson
Nov. 19--Peter O'Keefe has a case of health insurance sticker shock.
O'Keefe, president of O'Keefe Shaw & Co., has seen the cost of providing health insurance for each of the Amherst investment company's employees rise by almost $770 a year. Now he's beginning to think it's time to do something about it.
"We may be ready to put some kind of cap on it," he said. "The employee has gotten a raise, but they don't know they've gotten a raise."
O'Keefe isn't alone. With employers facing the biggest increases in health insurance premiums in a decade -- in the range of 15 to 20 percent locally -- a growing number of firms are passing on some of those rate increases to workers. Others are increasing co-pays or limiting their contributions.
"It's becoming harder and harder to absorb these costs," said Robert L. Bishop, president of Peerless Environmental Control, an Orchard Park asbestos-removal company.
With the economy slumping and …