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Statement by John Arensmeyer, CEO, Small Business Majority


March 18, 2010

The consensus healthcare reform bill-which, the Congressional Budget Office announced today, will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the next 10 years, and by $1.2 trillion over the following decade-combines the best provisions in both houses' reform bills for small businesses. This type of supportive legislation is exactly what the nation's 28 million entrepreneurs need in order to get some relief from our oppressive healthcare system.

As engines of job growth in our country, small businesses have the ability to help restore our economic vitality. But they've been unable to thanks to a healthcare system that's been bleeding them dry year after year and forcing them to make one draconian business decision after another just to keep their doors open.

Under the status quo, small businesses will pay $2.4 trillion in healthcare costs over the next decade and lose $834 billion in profits due to those costs, according to our economic research. Without reform, additional small businesses will be priced out of insurance, fewer entrepreneurs will strike out on their own, and more small business owners will shut their doors because the high price of healthcare is too much for them to bear.

Small businesses need the type of reforms outlined in the consensus plan-such as insurance reforms that will eliminate preexisting condition rules, and an insurance exchange that will give them the clout they need when negotiating for affordable coverage. They need strong cost control provisions and robust tax credits that will make it easier for them to afford insurance for their employees and themselves.

Small businesses can't wait any longer for reform. We urge legislators to vote 'yes' on this crucial bill and enact this long-needed and necessary legislation now.

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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