While most small-business owners consider health care a priority this election year, few feel the candidates are focusing enough on the issue, a national small-business advocacy group says.

In a nationwide poll of 800 owners and employees conducted on Super Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the nation’s largest small-business advocacy group, 71 percent of small-business owners said fixing the nation's health-care system should be the most crucial task for the next president. Yet, 81 percent said they felt none of the candidates had adequately addressed their concerns.

More than half said that keeping up with the rising cost of health care had been difficult for their companies, while 38 percent said these costs had resulted layoffs and reduced benefits packages, the survey found.

"Small-business owners and employees are bearing the overwhelming burden of a broken healthcare system that needs real reform. Candidates from both parties need to address this crisis head on," Todd Stottlemyer, the group's president, said in a statement.