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The Small Business Perspective on the House Democrats’ Health Care Bill

July 07, 2009

According to the association that represents 350,000 small businesses, the House Democrat health care bill: 

  • Hurts small employers by imposing a government-run plan:  “…we are deeply concerned that a public plan would further compromise the viability of private insurance, which would limit rather than expand choice.”
  • Harms workers by imposing employer mandates:  “…employees ultimately bear the cost of their health insurance through lower employment, depressed wages, depressed productivity, and loss of economic opportunities.”
  • Taxes businesses even if they are losing money: “The approach of levying a tax based on payroll is especially egregious for employers, as employers pay the tax regardless of whether or not they actually are profitable.”
  • Lowers wages for workers: “As drafted, the [small business tax] credit limitations…could have some adverse consequences on employee wages…could lead to workers – especially lower-wage workers – seeing stagnant wages for a longer period of time.” 
  • Vests too much power in Washington, DC:  “NFIB is deeply disturbed by the composition, responsibilities and powers vested to the Health Benefits Advisory Committee.”
  • Forces small businesses to stop providing health care coverage:  “…more small employers will simply not be able to afford to provide insurance for their employees.”
  • Drives up costs for small employers: “…it is highly likely that the ‘essential benefits’ will be more expensive than what small employers are currently purchasing today.”
  • Undercuts the President’s pledge that you can keep what you have: “…group health plans cannot be treated as ‘acceptable coverage’ after the ‘grace period,’ a period of time to be determined by the Commissioner.”
  • Drives up costs for younger workers: “…those who are younger and healthier will have a difficult time finding an affordable product.”
  • Limits health care options for small employers: “As constructed, this provision [phase-in to the exchange based on employer size] effectively limits entry into the exchange to only the smallest of small businesses while leaving the overall small group market with fewer, rather than more options to shop for and obtain health insurance.”