Small Businesses Applaud Efforts to Move Forward at Healthcare Summit
Statement by John Arensmeyer, CEO, Small Business Majority:
We were pleased to hear lawmakers express their strong support for small businesses during today's bipartisan healthcare summit. However, the time for talking is over. It's time to take action and pass reform legislation now. Small businesses continue to be crushed under our broken system. Millions of self-employed people and small business owners have been notified recently of double and even triple-digit increases to their premiums-making it more important than ever that legislators help small businesses get the relief they desperately need.
Small businesses will help dig the country out of the recession and restore the economic stability the nation needs-but they can't do it without healthcare reform. They need insurance reform, including the elimination of preexisting condition rules. They need tax credits to help provide coverage for their employees. They need a health insurance exchange that will provide small businesses the leverage they need to remain competitive, and they need strong cost containment measures to make coverage more affordable. We were pleased to see provisions in the president's plan-including stronger small business tax credits, more robust individual tax credits, increased cost containment through strengthened waste, fraud and abuse regulations and better monitoring of insurance rate increases-that will further support small businesses.
More and more small businesses will be priced out of insurance under the current system. More than 60 percent of businesses with fewer than 10 employees no longer offer insurance, and 28 percent of the 22 million self-employed Americans can't afford insurance at all. Economic research we commissioned shows that without reform, the future looks even bleaker: Small businesses will pay $2.4 trillion in healthcare costs over the next 10 years, and $834 billion in small business wages will be lost due to these costs. The status quo just isn't an option. We're pleased to see that Congress acknowledged this today and is committed to moving forward with this much-needed legislation.
Small Business Majority is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded and run by small business owners and focused on solving the biggest problem facing small businesses today: the skyrocketing cost of health coverage. We speak for the nearly 28 million Americans who are self-employed or own businesses of up to 100 employees. Our organization sponsors scientific research that guides us to understand and advocate on behalf of the interests of small businesses across the country.
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