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January 26, 2011

Washington, DC – Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) today convened the Committee on Ways and Means for its first hearing of the 112th Congress on health care.  The hearing included testimony of the small employer businesses and economists. In response to the hearing, Camp said:

“Today’s testimony from our job creators echo the data we’ve been seeing from leading economists: a health care law that is completely centered around the government buries employers in paperwork, imposes too many taxes and drives health care costs too high.  And, it doesn’t do anything to address their biggest health care concern – how to find and afford quality coverage.  Add to that how many times I heard it said, ‘we can fix the law’ and it really starts to drive home the fact the law is unworkable, unsuccessful and that we must start over and develop health care solutions that meet the needs of the very men and women we are depending on to create jobs and get our economy moving.”

Testimony Excerpts

The law will hurt employers’ ability to hire new workers, retain existing workers, and increase wages:
“The job-crushing effects of PPACA will flow downstream and hurt many of the small businesses that serve our company.  Additionally, we will be forced to cease new restaurant development and may forfeit the developments agreement we invested in.  That agreement cost $360,000.  This future development would amount to $22,000,000 in construction and development and spending, and 260 full-time restaurant jobs.”
Scott Womack, President, Womack Restaurants, Terre Haute, Indiana

The tax credit is unworkable and doesn’t help small business:
“I checked the tax credit that I thought I would be eligible for, and I come up with a big fat zero. At 45 employees there are certainly smaller businesses out there, but I don’t think anyone would consider us a big business. I have learned from other business owners with much smaller companies that the tax credit is so narrow and so limited that it would provide marginal assistance to a very low percentage of small businesses. For example, an 18-person business who pays, on average $38,000, doesn’t get anything either. The credit is temporary and goes away in a few years.”
Joe Olivo, Owner/CEO, Perfect Printing, Moorestown, New Jersey

The law made the number one cost pressure on business (rising health costs) worse:
“Do the economics of PPACA ever suggest that employer’s could drop?  Yes.”
“Objective analysts have uniformly concluded that the new law raises – not lowers – national health care spending.  The rising bill for national health care spending will, in turn produce sustained upward pressures on health insurance premiums.” 
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Ph.D., President, American Action Forum, Washington, D.C.

The law buries employers in burdensome regulations:
“This is a huge requirement that I do not have any sort of system in place to account for…calculating and collating receipts for purchases of thousands of items and services. I think it is very important to keep in mind the huge costs that additional regulatory burdens place on small businesses like mine.” 
Joe Olivo, Owner/CEO, Perfect Printing, Moorestown, New Jersey